Frederick's of Hollywood Group Inc. on Monday said that it retained New York investment bank Allen & Co. to assist the directors in evaluating strategic alternatives that could include a sale or merger of the company.

The Hollywood apparel company, which sells women's intimate apparel, swimwear and other products at 117 branded retail stores, through a catalog and online, said that it has received several inquiries in recent months

“We believe it is an appropriate time to formalize the process by engaging a world-class advisor that can assist us in identifying and reviewing a wide array of strategic alternatives that can maximize value for our shareholders,” said Chief Executive Thomas Lynch in a statement.

Shares were up 3 cents, or 12 percent, to 28 cents in midday trading on the NYSE Amex.