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The Weekly Wrap: Great Plains and Westar try again; St. Louis wage floor rises



Here’s a look at the week’s biggest business stories from across Missouri:

If at first utilities don’t succeed…

Great Plains Energy and Westar Energy will try again on their merger. Last month, regulators rejected a proposed $12.2 billion deal between Great Plains, the parent of Kansas City Power & Light, and Westar, Kansas’ largest utility. But this week the utilities said they’re modifying their plan and will have a new proposal by May 31.

That’ll be $10

A new minimum wage took effect Friday in St. Louis, following the lifting of an injunction after a lengthy legal battle that reached the Missouri Supreme Court. The city’s $10 wage floor is nearly 30 percent higher than the state minimum of $7.70.

Managed care concerns

Missouri this week shifted the state-run health coverage of about 240,000 low-income residents to managed care plans. It’s part of the increasing privatization of state Medicaid plans, which lawmakers say improves efficiency and lowers costs but critics say could endanger patients.

Sprint not rushing

Masayoshi Son, Sprint’s chairman, said Wednesday that his company is open to a sale, acquisition or merger, but that it isn’t in any hurry to make a deal. M&A speculation has swirled around Sprint, and an FCC-mandated quiet period about telecom tie-ups was lifted last week.

A Wicked deal

Anheuser-Busch added to its growing stable of craft breweries with the purchase of North Carolina’s Wicked Weed Brewing. The brewer joins brands like Goose Island, Elysian and Devils Backbone in A-B’s “High End” portfolio. Terms of the deal weren’t announced.


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