Unico American Corp. on Monday announced that its directors have appointed a special committee to review the company’s strategic alternatives with the ultimate goal of increasing shareholder value.

Such announcements often precede an acquisition or merger of some kind, although such a possibility was not mentioned specifically by the company.

The special committee for the Calabasas insurance company is comprised of independent directors, who will oversee the review process and assess all potential opportunities. Investment banker Willis Capital Markets & Advisory of London will act as the exclusive financial adviser to the committee.

The company plans on not making any further announcements about the review until either an agreement has been reached or the review process has ended.

Unico underwrites property and casualty insurance through its subsidiary Crusader Insurance Company and provides insurance, insurance premium financing and membership association services through its other subsidiaries.

Unico American Corp. shares closed up $1.61, or 17.2 percent, to $11 on the Nasdaq.