The Weekly Wrap: Panera sells; Peabody exits bankruptcy; Hyperloop One eyes Missouri

That’s a lot of dough

Add Panera to the list of big St. Louis companies bought out by overseas suitors in multi-billion-dollar deals. Luxembourg-based JAB Holding Co., whose portfolio of restaurants includes Caribou Coffee and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, announced Tuesday that it’s acquiring Panera, the bakery café chain, in a deal valued at $7.5 billion. Panera management said the sale won’t mean major changes for the company’s presence in the St. Louis area.

Across Missouri in 23 minutes?

The 240-mile path between St. Louis and Kansas City is one of 35 routes chosen by Hyperloop One as semifinalists in its Global Challenge. Hyperloop One is a Los Angeles-based company aiming to transform transportation with its ultra-fast Hyperloop system, which the company says could carry passengers from St. Louis to Kansas City in 23 minutes. The challenge drew some 2,600 applications. Hyperloop One will whittle the semifinalists down to three to five routes to actually construct.

Rising from the ashes

Peabody Energy, the largest American coal miner, emerged from bankruptcy this week and began trading again on the New York Stock Exchange. St. Louis-based Peabody has shed $5 billion in debt since it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last April, and CEO Glenn Kellow is touting the company as positioned to create value as “the only global pure-play coal investment.”

Stadium pitch defeated

St. Louis’ goal of attracting a Major League Soccer team suffered a serious blow on Election Day as voters in the city rejected a plan to provide $60 million in public financing for a downtown soccer stadium. SC STL, the local ownership group that formed in hopes of landing a team, and that drove the $1 million political campaign supporting the stadium, is breaking up, according to one of the group’s leaders.

Apartments go micro

The growing trend of shrinking apartments will arrive soon in Kansas City. A developer in Kansas City won approval this week for the city’s first all-micro-apartment complex. Plans call for units that are 300 square feet and rent for about $800 per month. Micro-apartments have sprouted up on both coasts, and the Kansas City developers say their urban units will cater to students, young professionals, and visiting doctors and researchers.

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