Bears of the world, unite. Build-A-Bear Workshop ( BBW) was on the move higher after the company said it will buy the U.K.'s Bear Factory in a merger that will bring together two sellers of stuffed animals. The transaction is valued at around $41.4 million and should close late in the first quarter or early in the second quarter. Build-A-Bear expects the acquisition to add to its earnings in fiscal 2007. However, in fiscal 2006, the deal will likely reduce earnings by 10 cents to 13 cents a share. Build-A-Bear was climbing 37 cents, or 1.3%, to $28.95. Syntroleum ( SYNM) fell following word the company signed a letter of intent to form a joint venture with Bluewater Energy Services. The venture plans to develop and finance the building of the world's first air-based gas-to-liquids plant on an offshore floating production storage and offloading vessel that could also produce oil and offer storage capabilities. Syntroleum, which created a process for converting natural gas or synthesis gas into synthetic liquid hydrocarbons, was losing 33 cents, or 3.7%, to $8.55. Dynavax Technologies ( DVAX) rose nearly 3% after the biopharmaceutical company reported positive results from a two-year clinical trial of Tolamba, an experimental treatment for ragweed allergies. The company said the results of the study were encouraging and suggest that Tolamba "has potential as a disease-modifying agent that can reprogram the immune system and reduce the allergic response." Shares of Dynavax were up 14 cents to $6.21. Shares of Pacific Internet ( PCNTF), a provider of Internet services in the Asia-Pacific region, rose after the company signed a deal with PCCW-HKT Networks Services. The firms will join their virtual private networks to enable IP, voice and data communications in many more locations for their customers. Through the agreement, Pacific Internet will double the availability of its IP-VPN services to 14 countries and markets. Pacific Internet was higher by 12 cents, or 1.5%, to $8.10.
Thomas Equipment ( TEQI) saw its shares rise after the company received approval to list on the American Stock Exchange under the stock symbol THM. Thomas currently trades on the over-the-counter Bulletin Board. The company's management expects its shares to start Amex trading the week of March 13. Shares were up 10 cents, or 2.6%, to $4. Nanophase Technologies ( NANX), a developer of nanomaterials and advanced nanoengineered products, was climbing on news the company signed a new supply agreement with Roche Diagnostics. Under the pact, Nanophase will supply nanoparticles for a medical-diagnostics application through 2014. Shares of Nanophase were gaining 68 cents, or 9.7%, to $7.71.