On The Block

Do-it-yourself-minded buyout firms might be interested in the fact that late last month Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. (NYSE:BBW) hired Lehman Brothers to assist the company with a potential sale. St. Louis-based Build-A-Bear Workshop labels itself an “entertainment retailer of customized stuffed animals” and operates more than 275 stores in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland. According to a statement, Build-A-Bear plans to boost its North American store count to about 300 while increasing its European store count to 120. For the first quarter ended March 31, the company reported net income of $8.1 million, down from $8.3 million for the same period in 2006.

Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc. (Nasdaq:QTWW) may divest its Tecstar Automotive Group, which providers stylized automobile components. The division, which is based in Goshen, Ind., receives vehicle chassis from OEMs and upgrades them with items such as under-chassis light effects and returns them to the manufacturer for sale. Most of Tecstar’s business comes from General Motors. Tecstar’s parent, Quantum Fuel Systems, which is based in Irvine Calif., hired Merriman Curhan Ford to advise in the sale process.

Another potential corporate carveout can be found in Alpharetta, Ga., where Optio Software Inc. (OTCBB:OPTO) is considering the sale of its health-care software division. Healthcare Growth Partners has been hired to oversee the process. According to a statement released by Optio, more than 700 health-care organizations use the company’s software products, which include electronic health record forms, clinical document management software and advanced labeling solutions. For the year ended Jan. 31, Optio reported an operating loss of $46,000 on revenue of $28.7 million, compared with operating income of $715,000 on revenue of $29.7 million the year before.

Insurance giant Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. (NYSE:MMC) is rumored to be seeking a buyer for the company. For its first quarter ended March 31, Marsh & McLennan reported net income of $268 million, down from $416 million the year before. It also reported total current assets of about $6 billion and total current liabilities of about $5 billion. Large financial buyers, including The Blackstone Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, have been named as potential bidders. Marsh & McLennan used to have an insurance-focused buyout arm of its own called MMC Capital, which spun out in 2005. The firm is now called Stone Point Capital.