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Wyoming investor increases Build-A-Bear stake, but it doesn't look like an activist move

Wyoming investor increases Build-A-Bear stake, but it doesn't look like an activist move

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Build-A-Bear Workshop opens at Union Station

Build-A-Bear Workshop stuffed animal shells are lined up for customers during the grand opening at the company's newest store at Union Station in St. Louis on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020. The first fifty guests through the doors were given a free bear. The event also featured face painting for kids, crafts, and give aways. Build-A-Bear, which opened it's first store at the Galleria Mall in 1997, now has more than 400 stores around the world. Photo by David Carson,

An investor who criticized Build-A-Bear Workshop last year has increased his stake in the company to 7.9%, but now indicates that it's merely a passive investment.

J. Carlo Cannell, head of Cannell Capital in Alta, Wyoming, disclosed the ownership stake Friday, up from the 3.7% he owned in May 2019.

His latest filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, though, is on form 13G, which money managers use to report their passive investments. Last year, Cannell had reported his Build-A-Bear holdings on form 13D, which is used by activist investors.

Cannell owned as much as 5.7% of Build-A-Bear in March 2019 before reducing that stake a couple of months later. In his 2019 filings, he said he might seek a board seat or pursue "strategic initiatives to enhance shareholder value."

Another activist investor, David Kanen of Coral Springs, Florida, targeted Build-a-Bear around the same time and won a board seat last July.

Shares of Build-a-Bear, a teddy bear retailer based in St. Louis, have fallen 51% in the past year.

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