Medical helicopter company Air Methods exploring sale: WSJ

(Reuters) - U.S. medical helicopter company Air Methods Corp AIRM.O is exploring a sale, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Air Methods’ shares rose 7.4 percent to $38.35 on Wednesday, valuing the company at $1.4 billion.

The company is working with bankers to find potential buyers, the Journal reported, adding that the process is in its early stages and may not result in a deal.

Activist hedge fund Voce Capital Management LLC threatened on Monday it would launch a proxy war to gain more control over the company’s board.

Voce, which had a 2.86 percent stake in Air Methods as of Sept. 30 according to Thomson Reuters data, has long advocated that the company should sell itself.

Air Methods said last March it would add one Voce nominee to its board to avert a proxy contest with the hedge fund.

The company was not immediately available for comments.

(This version of the story corrects paragraph 5 to say that Voce had a 2.86 percent stake in Air Methods as of Sept. 30, and attributes that data to Thomson Reuters)

Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty