Missouri Minute: A-B buys wine startup; Saint Louis Brewery names CEO

Good morning, MBA readers,

The biggest initial public offering in the world this year isn’t Uber’s IPO, and it isn’t taking place in the U.S. Hint: It involves Anheuser-Busch InBev in Asia. Elsewhere, St. Louis County has a new revenue director and the field for Missouri’s 2020 gubernatorial race is in flux. Before you unplug for July Fourth, check out the day’s top business stories from around the state.

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From our newsroom

Pitchin’ Episode 2: Founders face decisions about startup teams
In the second episode of the Pitchin’ podcast, we talk teams. All three student entrepreneurs featured in the podcast have different approaches to selecting the people with whom they build businesses. And those choices create unique dynamics — and challenges — for their startups.

Q&A: Investor Kelly Sievers on Midwestern fundraising, diversity’s value
For Kelly Sievers, investing doesn’t just hinge on dollar amount. “It’s also about finding the right kind of funding for your business,” said Sievers, managing director of the Women’s Capital Connection. We sat down with Sievers in Kansas City to discuss trends in raising capital and tips for entrepreneurs seeking funding.

Stay alert

Page appoints new St. Louis County revenue director
Quentin Wilson, formerly director of the Missouri Department of Revenue, will serve as acting director of the county’s Department of Revenue. Wilson replaces Greg Quinn, who was appointed by former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Lawmaker drops out of governor race, endorses Galloway
State Sen. Scott Sifton, D-Affton, announced Tuesday he will no longer run for Missouri governor and instead endorsed Nicole Galloway, the state auditor and the only Democrat currently elected to statewide office. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Anheuser-Busch acquires wine startup
Anheuser-Busch InBev’s venture wing has acquired the remaining stake in Babe Wine, which sells canned rosé, pinot grigio and red wine with Instagram model Emily Ratajkowski as a brand ambassador. It’s the company’s biggest investment in a wine product. (Bloomberg)

Kansas industrial equipment distributor acquires KC-area firm
Wichita, Kansas-based C&B Equipment has acquired Douglas Pump, a firm that specializes in water pumping, wells and sluice gates. The combined firm will operate as C&B Equipment Midwest and consolidate its Kansas City-area operations at Douglas Pump’s facility in Overland Park, Kansas. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Ameren begins $14 million infrastructure upgrades in St. Louis County
The upgrades are aimed at reducing power outages for three area hospitals and 6,000 residential homes and businesses. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Say that again

“The economy of photography is going to be different. It’s going to be challenging, but photography is very much a part of our culture.”

That’s Patty Wente, president and CEO of the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Louis. Wente reacted to Monday’s announcement that Creve Coeur Camera is closing its last store after 40 years in business, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Since 2017, Creve Coeur Camera has shuttered seven other stores due to competition from Amazon and other online sellers. The company will hold a liquidation sale and continue offering photography classes and international trips.

Go figure

$9.8 billion
That’s how much Anheuser-Busch InBev hopes to raise in an initial public offering in Hong Kong, making it the world’s largest IPO this year, Reuters reports. Budweiser Brewing Company APAC is selling 1.6 billion primary shares at between $5.13 and $6.02, giving Budweiser Asia a market cap of up to $63.7 billion. The funds will likely help the multinational beverage maker, which has its North American headquarters in St. Louis, pay off some $100 billion in debt.

Hello, my name is

Fran Caradonna
Saint Louis Brewery has named Caradonna, who has been its chief financial officer and chief administrative officer since March, as its new CEO, the St. Louis Business Journal reports. Caradonna replaces interim CEO Emily Parker-Lampe, who will serve as chief of brewery operations, the company said Tuesday. Before joining Saint Louis Brewery, the maker of Schlafly Beer, Caradonna was general manager for O’Fallon Brewery and co-founded The Signature Beer Co., one of Schafly’s first wholesalers.

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


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