Build-A-Bear explores options

Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE:BBW) announced that it has hired advisors to explore "strategic alternatives" to accelerate growth and enhance shareholder value, but the company was mum on the details.

The company has retained Guggenheim Securities as a financial advisor but offered no more information than it was embarking on a strategic review.

"The disciplined execution of our strategy has led to three consecutive years of positive consolidated comparable sales and profit growth fueled by margin expansion and improved operational metrics, such as the highest average transaction value in our history while consistently generating strong cash flow," said Sharon Price John, president and CEO. "The authorization to explore strategic alternatives by our board will enable us to evaluate the various opportunities to potentially accelerate our key growth initiatives while enhancing total shareholder value."

Build-A-Bear has posted profits for the past two years, after five years of declines.

The company reiterated plans to expand by 10 to 15 new locations in 2016. It plans to develop more products, including proprietary lines for Build-A-Bear stores, and extend its reach with wholesale and outbound licensing. Attracting new in-bound licenses is also a priority.

It's part of Build-A-Bear's multiyear vision to evolve the brand.

No timetable has been set for the review process, and the company offered no assurance that this exploration will result in any strategic alternatives being announced or executed.

For more:
- see this Build-A-Bear announcement
- see this Bloomberg story

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