The Weekly Wrap: A Bass Pro-Cabela’s lifeline; Missouri’s most valuable brands

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

A lifeline for Bass Pro-Cabela’s

Bass Pro Shops’ planned $4.5 billion acquisition of rival outdoor retailer Cabela’s, which has languished since it was announced in October, may have new life, thanks to a Georgia-based bank. Synovus Financial Corp. is in talks to buy Cabela’s banking business, which issues store-branded credit cards. Capital One Finance Corp. had initially agreed to buy the banking operation, but that fell through. Synovus’ involvement could clear the way for Springfield-based Bass Pro to purchase Cabela’s retail operation.

Anthem out in ‘18?

Anthem Inc. appears likely to reduce its participation in the Affordable Care Act’s individual insurance markets in 2018, according to a new report from investment banking firm Jefferies. The move would potentially limit coverage for consumers in Missouri and several other states. A departure by Anthem, which offers insurance under the Blue Cross and Blue Shield brand in Missouri, would put consumers in parts of the state at risk of having no Affordable Care Act insurers next year, according to an analysis from the news outlet Axios.

Medicaid expansion still a nonstarter

Lawmakers in a handful of Republican-controlled states, including neighboring Kansas, have warmed to Medicaid expansion after last week’s failure by Congressional Republicans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Not so in Missouri, where GOP lawmakers and Republican Gov. Eric Greitens remain resolute in their opposition to expanding Medicaid coverage to people making up to 133 percent of the poverty level.

Syngenta eyes Monsanto assets

Syngenta, the Swiss chemical and seed company that Monsanto repeatedly tried to acquire in 2015, now finds itself in position to buy parts of Monsanto, the Creve Coeur-based seed company. Bayer, the German conglomerate that last year agreed to buy Monsanto, may have to sell off pieces of Monsanto to appease regulators. Meanwhile, Syngenta will be flush with resources from its new owner, ChemChina, and could be looking to buy. That’s just one of numerous potential M&A opportunities on the horizon as consolidation continues in the agrochemical and seed industries.

What’s in a brand name?

Sprint and Bud Light lead a group of 13 brands from Missouri and the greater Kansas City area that are among the 500 most valuable in the U.S., according to a new ranking from Brand Finance. Sprint (67) and Bud Light (89) are followed by Purina (106), Budweiser (111), Enterprise (128), Express Scripts (181), Emerson (188), Cerner (210), O’Reilly (222), Centene (256), Panera (342), Busch (462) and Monsanto (482) on the annual list, which considers “factors such as marketing investment, familiarity, preference, sustainability and margins to determine what proportion of a business’s revenue is contributed by the brand.”

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