The Weekly Wrap: M&A movement for Great Plains, Bass Pro, Post

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

Utility tie-up in jeopardy

Regulators voted against the proposed $12.2 billion acquisition of Westar Energy, Kansas’ largest utility, by Great Plains Energy, the parent company of Kansas City Power & Light. The Kansas Corporation Commission cited concerns about job losses and debt levels in voting down the deal. The decision jeopardizes the purchase, and both companies said afterward they were considering what steps to take next.

Bass Pro purchase back on track

Bass Pro, the Springfield-based outdoor sports retailer, lowered its takeover bid for rival Cabela’s, reducing it to $61.50 per share from an initial offer of $65.50 per share. Meanwhile, Cabela’s confirmed reports that Synovus Bank will join the deal to help facilitate the sale of the retailer’s banking operation. That maneuvering appears to put the acquisition, which some feared wouldn’t clear regulatory hurdles, back on track. Bass Pro said it expects the deal to close in the third quarter of this year.

Big bucks for Weetabix

Post Holdings, the St. Louis-based consumer packaged goods company, will acquire Weetabix, the second-largest cereal maker in the U.K., for $1.77 billion. The deal brings brands like Weetabix, Alpen and Barbara’s into a portfolio that already included Honey Bunches of Oats and Grape-Nuts. It also allows Post to expand its distribution in international markets.

Show-Me championships

The NCAA announced host sites for different rounds of its championship events through 2022, and St. Louis and Kansas City will host a combined 19 events. St. Louis snagged 13 competitions, including two rounds of the Division I men’s basketball tournament in 2020 and the Division I wrestling championships in 2021. Kansas City scored six events, including a Division I men’s basketball regional in 2019 and the Division II men’s football championship from 2018 to 2021.

Audit targets tax transparency

The Missouri Department of Revenue became one of the latest targets of the state auditor’s office. Auditor Nicole Galloway issued a subpoena aimed at forcing the DOR to submit information about its management of income tax refunds. how it manages income tax refunds. She said the department has cooperated providing information for past fiscal years but not the current tax year.

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