Missouri Minute: Budweiser to sponsor NWSL; Caleres launches Chinese venture

Good morning, MBA readers,

What’s the best way to celebrate the U.S. women’s World Cup success? Budweiser marked the occasion by announcing a new sponsorship deal with the National Women’s Soccer League. Also in St. Louis, shoemaker Caleres is planning an expansion into China. Away from Missouri’s major cities, aging farmers have found a way to pass on their land to the next generation. Read on for these and other top business headlines from around the state.

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Budweiser to sponsor National Women’s Soccer League
Anheuser-Busch InBev’s flagship beer brand has signed a multi-year sponsorship deal with the soccer league, giving Budweiser naming rights to the NWSL playoffs, championship and MVP trophy. (Associated Press)

Juror urges judge to uphold $80 million Roundup verdict
In a letter posted by the court Monday, an unidentified juror has urged U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria to uphold the jury’s $80 million verdict against Monsanto’s parent company Bayer. Chhabria previously stated he would have to cap the punitive damage award at $45 million on constitutional grounds. (Reuters)

Minerals production firm makes $135 million acquisition
St. Louis-based Mississippi Lime Co., owned by HBM Holdings, will acquire the Alabama-based lime manufacturer Calera for $135 million in cash, the company announced Monday. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Clayton-based shoemaker launches joint venture in China
Caleres, the maker of Naturalizer and Sam Edelman shoes, has formed a joint venture with Brand Investment Holding in a bid to open stores in China and take sales online. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Aegion unit wins $7.2 million contract
Insituform Technologies, a subsidiary of Chesterfield-based Aegion, will get $7.2 million to install over 10 miles of wastewater pipelines in Tennessee. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Nurses sue KC-area hospital for $5 million in overtime pay
A class-action lawsuit filed against Menorah Medical Center in Overland Park, Kansas, claims nurses at the hospital are owed around $5 million in docked overtime pay from the past five years. (Kansas City Star)

Springfield sewer rates may rise again
A new proposal before the Springfield City Council would increase sewer bills by 5% each year through at least the 2023 fiscal year. The potential additional revenue would be spent on improvements to the sewage system mandated by state and federal regulators. (Springfield News-Leader)

Say that again

“Our website is over 10 years old, and in internet years, that’s like 70 years.”

That’s Rick Noelle, chief information officer for St. Louis County. The St. Louis County Council is expected to approve a request from Noelle to allocate more than $650,000 for IT improvements, St. Louis Public Radio reports. The money would help to automate most of the county’s internal and external processes and restore an IT help desk for employees. The county would spend $150,000 for a new website and another $50,000 to update its app.

Show me

Two counties in the Kansas City area, Platte County and Clay County, have been among Missouri’s fastest-growing counties since 2010. Meanwhile, clusters of counties in the state’s southeast and northwest corners have seen Missouri’s most substantial population declines over that period. Today’s graphic looks at new population estimates for the state.

Go figure

That’s the number of properties currently held by the city of St. Louis Land Reutilization Authority, down from 12,000 at this time last year, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Reducing the number of properties in the city bank’s portfolio is a key part of Mayor Lyda Krewson’s plan to address vacancies in the city. The demolition of abandoned buildings is on the rise in the city, with 611 vacant structures demolished since the beginning of last year.

Hello, my name is

Sunflower Bank
The Denver-based bank, which operates three branches in and around Kansas City, is posed to become a more significant small business lender in the area now that it received preferred lender status from the Small Business Administration, the Kansas City Business Journal reports. Lenders with the preferred status tend to see much quicker turnaround for loan applications, especially those worth less than $5 million. With the addition of Sunflower, the Kansas City area has 30 banks with the SBA status.

Word to the wise

Farm succession
In this arrangement, aging farmers without heirs bequeath their land to young farmers getting started in the trade. It’s a solution to a pervasive two-way problem threatening small farms, the Columbia Missourian reports. In most cases, farmers like Steve Landers of Centralia, who doesn’t have an heir of his own, are forced to sell off their land to large corporations. Meanwhile, younger farmers like Noah Earle can’t afford land themselves. So Landers agreed to pass on his 72-acre farm to Earle, calling it an opportunity for young farmers to “learn and earn at the same time.”

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


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