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UPDATE 1-Howard Hughes hires Centerview Partners to explore options, including sale

including sale@ (Changes sourcing; Updates share movement)

June 27 (Reuters) - Howard Hughes Corp has hired Centerview Partners to explore strategic alternatives that include a sale of the company, the real estate developer said on Thursday.

A joint venture or spin-off of a portion of its assets, recapitalization and changes to its corporate structure were among the options it was exploring, the company said.

"The board and management are determined to close the significant gap between our share price and the company's underlying net asset value," Chief Executive David Weinreb said in a statement.

Shares of the company were up 30% at $120.09 in morning trading. The company's stock has fallen 35% since it hit a high of $160.62 in September 2014.

CNBC had earlier reported t o - e x p l o r e - s a l e . h t m l this news, citing people familiar with the matter.

It is not clear whether the company is well-suited to the public markets as it has diverse assets that does not lend itself to the recurring and predictable cash flows real estate investors may be looking for, CNBC had said, citing sources familiar with the board's thinking.

Activist investor William Ackman, the chairman of the company, owns a 2.7% stake in Howard Hughes as of March 31, through Pershing Square Capital Management.

Howard Hughes was formed in 2010 as a tax-free spinoff from General Growth Properties. (Reporting by Nivedita Balu and Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel)