Advisory Board Said to Interview Banks About Possible Sale

  • Elliott Management disclosed activist stake last month
  • Buyers could include technology, health-care, education firms

Advisory Board Co. is interviewing financial advisers this week to help it consider strategic options including a sale, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company, which provides research and analysis for the health-care industry, may attract strategic bidders across the technology, education and health-care sectors, one of the people said, asking not to be identified as the details aren’t public. Finding a buyer for the whole of Advisory Board may be difficult as it doesn’t have many direct peers, the people said. There’s no certainty that the company will proceed with a sale process, they said.

Advisory Board’s shares jumped as much as 11 percent in New York and were trading up almost 6 percent to $48.76 as of 2:56 p.m.

Activist investor Elliott Management Corp. disclosed an 8.3 percent stake in the company, which has a market valuation of about $1.8 billion, last month. Elliott said it wanted to “engage in a constructive dialogue with the issuer’s board of directors regarding opportunities to maximize shareholder value.”

Representatives for Advisory Board and Elliott declined to comment.

Washington-based Advisory Board provides business strategy and management services and software to hospitals, drug and medical-device companies and health-care insurers, according to its website. As of 2015, the firm had more than 2,800 employees with 12 offices on three continents.

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