The Weekly Wrap: Peabody plans pass test; wage fight rages on

In case you missed anything this week, here’s a look at Missouri’s biggest business stories from the five days gone by:

Eyeing an exit

St. Louis-based Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private coal producer, said Thursday it expects to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early April after a judge indicated he would approve the company’s plan to cut more than $5 billion of debt. Seven institutional investors look likely to win big from Peabody’s recovery, as a group of six hedge funds and one state investment fund could make hundreds of millions of dollars from stock sales after the exit.

Wage fight rages on

The business groups that took their case against a St. Louis minimum wage hike to the Missouri Supreme Court aren’t giving up. They filed a motion Wednesday for the case to be reheard. Meanwhile, GOP lawmakers at the state level are promoting a bill that would prevent cities from raising their minimum wage above the state’s wage floor.

Biotech boom

St. Louis startups in the biotech industry saw a spike in venture capital funding in 2016, according to a recent report from BioEnterprise, a business accelerator. Venture capitalists invested $242 million in St. Louis biotech companies in 2016, up 87 percent from 2015. St. Louis ranked third among Midwestern cities for total investment, trailing Minneapolis ($422 million) and Chicago ($324 million), according to the report.

Glyphosate suits spring up

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, is the subject of a growing number of lawsuits alleging the herbicide is carcinogenic. Hundreds of cases have been filed in the U.S., and some observers expect the number to grow considerably in the next few weeks. Litigators have suggested “glyphosate” could become a legal buzzword akin to asbestos.

Another one bound for bankruptcy

Gordmans joined the growing list of departments stores in Missouri that have filed for bankruptcy. The Nebraska-based chain, which has a dozen stores in the Show-Me state, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday. That comes on the heels of recent store closures by other retailers, including MC Sports and J.C. Penney, that have sizable footprints in the state.

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