Advisory Board Co., which recently trimmed 5.7% of its workforce, announced it is considering a potential sale.
The Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm said Monday its board and management team have begun an evaluation process to maximize shareholder value, which could result in the sale of all or part of the company. The market value of the Advisory Board is currently $1.8 billion.
There is no timeline for when the board expects to make any potential changes.
"Our Board of Directors is committed to enhancing value for our shareholders, and this review is an important next step following the comprehensive restructuring initiatives we announced earlier this year," said Robert Musslewhite, chairman and CEO of the Advisory Board. "While we conduct this review, we will remain focused on executing our business plan, implementing the previously announced restructuring in our healthcare business, and continuing to deliver outstanding value to our members."
The news of a potential sale comes about a month after the Advisory Board announced it would lay off 220 employees as part of a restructuring process to save approximately $25 million in operating expenses by the end of the year.
The Advisory Board experienced a difficult second half of the year in 2016, especially in the months of November and December following the election, “as members reassessed their strategy and path forward,” the company said.
The company expects to report $805 million to $807 million in revenue for the end of 2016, which is $10 million below previous expectations for the year. It expects to report $780 million to $840 million for 2017. The firm will report year-end financial results Feb. 28.
The expected losses drove the Advisory Board to initiate a restructuring plan in January that included abandoning some services and focusing on others. The company also said it would close four offices by the end of this year.
Among the areas of focus are its technology and consulting services that help hospitals address three problem areas: health system growth, reducing care variation and optimizing revenue cycle. Among the services being dropped are care management workflow and infection control analytics.
But Don McDaniel, CEO of consultant Continuum Health Alliance, which works with the Advisory Board, said the firm's troubles are less about uncertainty in the market and more about making the wrong moves. “They are in a sense a victim of their own success,” he said.
The healthcare consulting industry is incredibly fragmented with firms of various sizes focusing on different areas of the industry. This fragmentation should protect consulting firms from negative finances as uncertainty looms in the industry with the imminent repeal of the Affordable Care Act, McDaniel said.