AOL Inc., which is struggling to halt a sales slide, said Thursday that it retained investment bank Allen & Co. and law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz as advisors. Its stock jumped.
Graham James, a spokesman for New York-based AOL, confirmed the hiring of the firms but declined to comment further.
AOL has posted losses of almost $800 million in less than two years as a stand-alone company as it has struggled to make money from online advertising and its profitable dial-up Internet business has become increasingly obsolete. The Internet pioneer, spun off from Time Warner Inc. in 2009, saw its shares plunge to a record low this month after cutting its profit forecast because of slowing growth in display-advertising sales.
The company, valued at $1.49 billion at Thursday's closing price, could attract private equity bidders, investment banking firms such as Evercore Partners Inc. have said.
AOL shares rose $1.13, or 8.8%, to $13.94. The stock has fallen 52% from its peak in April 2010.