Missouri Minute: Hawley targets tech giants; Centene shareholders approve deal

Good morning, MBA readers,

If you’re a Boulevard Pale Ale drinker, here’s a cause for cheers: Up to 1,000 fans of the Kansas City beer can get their name engraved on bottles if they donate to charity. Elsewhere, Eldorado Resorts, which runs casinos and hotels in Missouri and 11 other states, has returned to the table with a new blockbuster deal of its own. Speaking of M&A, Centene has the green light from shareholders to proceed with its $15 billion purchase of rival WellCare. Read on to get caught up on these and other top Missouri business stories.


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Hawley-Warner bill would put a price tag on online user data
The bipartisan bill introduced in the U.S. Senate Monday by Sens. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, and Mark Warner, D-Virginia, would require tech giants like Google and Facebook to disclose how much money they make from collecting and selling user data. (Associated Press)

Missouri requests second federal disaster declaration
The state is asking for federal aid in more than 40 counties that have been battered by severe weather since the first federal declaration was issued in May. (Associated Press)

Centene shareholders approve $15 billion WellCare deal
Centene’s purchase of smaller rival WellCare is expected to help the company bolster its Medicare and Medicaid business while expanding into new health care markets. The companies have begun the 26-state insurance approval processes for the deal. (Reuters)

Lawsuit could halt spread of video gambling terminals in Missouri
A case filed by Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd claims that the proliferation of video gambling terminals at Missouri gas stations and truck stops is illegal under current law. Integrity Gambling, the Kansas-based distributor of these terminals, argues that the machines are not gambling devices since the outcome of each game is predetermined. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

St. Louis law firm sues Monsanto over Roundup ads
Gray, Ritter & Graham has filed a lawsuit claiming illegal and misleading advertising of Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer. The St. Louis law firm seeks refunds for all Roundup purchases by Missouri residents and punitive damages on behalf of two Missouri clients. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Build-a-Bear scores up to $4 million for downtown St. Louis move
The city approved an agreement Monday that could provide up to $4 million in incentives for Build-A-Bear Workshop to relocate its headquarters and 200 jobs to downtown St. Louis from Overland. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

KC law firm hires new CFO, COO
After a year-plus search, Polsinelli has hired Scott Fletcher, who joined the firm in May, for the dual CFO and COO role. Previously, Fletcher served as COO at Akerman in Miami and as CFO at Gardere Wynne Sewell in Dallas. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Boulevard plans ‘fan’ bottles commemorating 30-year anniversary
Up to 1,000 people who donate $60 to selected charities will get their name and hometown inscribed on bottles of Boulevard Pale Ale. (Kansas City Star)


Show me

Today’s graphic takes a closer look at Missouri’s jobs data released last week, focusing on the industries with the largest employment gains and losses over the last 12 months. Health care and social assistance has gained 10,800 jobs over the last year, while educational services has shed 2,400 jobs.


Go figure

$8.5 billion
That’s how much Eldorado Resorts, which owns and operates 26 casinos, including the St. Louis Lumiere Place and Isle of Capri Casino Kansas City, has agreed to pay for Caesars Entertainment, CNBC reports. The cash-and-stock deal would transform Eldorado, valued at $4 billion, into an industry powerhouse with brands like Harrah’s in hand. Monday’s announcement comes less than a week after Eldorado sold two of its Missouri casinos to VICI Properties, which owns Caesars. In a parallel deal, the combined company will sell some of its real estate to VICI, generating $3.2 billion in cash to pay down Caesars’ $8.8 billion in debt.


Hello, my name is

Steve Baumer
The former head of global transactions practices and partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner was named a new chairman of the St. Louis-based law firm on Monday, St. Louis Business Journal reports. Baumer, who succeeds Therese Pritchard, will be one of two chairs and will be based in St. Louis. The other, Chairwoman Lisa Mayhew, will remain at the firm’s office in London. The firm reported $899 million in revenue last year.


It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning.


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