Shares of Howard Hughes  (HHC) - Get Report soared nearly 36.3% to $126.31 after the real estate management and development company said it had hired bankers at Centerview Partners to explore strategic alternatives that include a sale of the company.

"Our business continues to perform extremely well across our three core segments, with price per acre of land sold, net operating income, and condo sales all exceeding our expectations," David Weinreb said in a statement. "However, our stock continues to languish below its net asset value per share."

Weinrab said the board and management "are determined to close the significant gap between our share price and the company's underlying net asset value. We look forward to reporting to shareholders on the results of our strategic review and will remain focused on executing our plans during this evaluation process."

CNBC, citing people familiar with the situation, said potential buyers are likely to include giant real estate holders such as Blackstone Group (BX) - Get Report or Brookfield Property Partners (BPY) - Get Report .

Centerview hopes to complete the review process by the end of the summer, CNBC said, and the firm is also exploring joint ventures or spinoffs as part of their mandate. Howard Hughes Corp. said it "has not set a timetable for the conclusion of its review of strategic alternatives."

Howard Hughes, a one-time spinoff from General Growth Properties, owns planned communities in Texas, Maryland, and Nevada. In addition, the company owns the Las Vegas Ballpark, the Las Vegas Aviators baseball tam, Ward Village in Hawaii, and the South Street Seaport in New York City.

Centerview Partners, located in New York, recently announced that Rahm Emanuel, the former mayor of Chicago and chief of staff to President Barack Obama, joined the firm as a senior counselor.

Centerview declined to comment.