Bringing in an outside firm to "explore strategic alternatives," can result in one or more of a number of results. ONE of those would be the POSSIBILITY of the sale of the company. Others could include but would not be limited to: a strategic partner buying a portion of the firm; significant retirement of debt, (although admittadely I've not reviewed the balance sheet); a buyback of shares to reduce outsider holdings and/or to allow insiders to cash out; acquire all or part of another company; take the company private; and more.
It is highly likely that the goal would be to benefit aging senior management at a time when estate planning and all the stuff we all face during the "winters" of our lives, is the driver of this activity or "exploration."
As far as a significant jump in price as the result of this announcement, the stock is extremely thinly traded and has always been, at least during the last five years. Also, it is followed by virtually no one out there on Wall St. So, the company is relatively unknown, thus little interest. That said however, the share price has been trading about 15% higher than it was the few weeks prior to the announcement.
What might happen? If there is a total or partial buyout, or if the company goes private, there will be a premium, but as the stock has been flat for the past three quarters and more, while the market has increased, in my opinion it is unlikely that the shares would be priced much above $8.
At the end of the process, the final decision as to accepting the direction of the strategy, and any share price, (if a buyout of any kind), will rest with the insiders of any closely held, thinly traded company. For me personally, I am in TMG at $4.25 and have been for a few years. Eight bucks is close to a "double," so I guess IF it happens, it was worth the wait.
The strategic options could include any of those you had mentioned, but the most logical and likely scenario is a sale of the company. Taking it private seems the next most likely scenario.
The company has substantial insider ownership that would require a control premium to the market, not just the customary 35-40% premium paid for widely held companies. Often thinly traded, closely held public companies have takeover premiums of 60% or more.
Whatever the strategic option chosen, TMG will trade at a higher price and shareholders will be rewarded.