Commercial lender CapitalSource Inc has hired a financial advisor to explore a potential sale of the company, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The company, which offers loans of between $5 million and $100 million, decided to put itself for sale a few weeks ago, but may abandon its plans if it does not get suitable bids, the Journal said, quoting sources.

CapitalSource did not immediately respond to WSJ requests for comment.

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co is soliciting potential buyers which mainly include large banks, to gauge their interest in CapitalSource, which has a market value of $2.4 billion, the paper said.

CapitalSource, and J.P. Morgan could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters outside regular U.S. business hours.

In October, the company revealed its plan to file for bank holding company status in the first quarter of 2011.

CapitalSource transformed itself from a real estate investment trust to a bank in January 2009, and had to sell assets to meet losses generated from its commercial real estate portfolio.

Shares of the Chevy Chase, Maryland-based company closed up about 4 percent at $7.33 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Abhinav Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Mike Nesbit)