Missouri Minute: Trump OKs second disaster declaration for Missouri; Sprint sells KC-area headquarters

Good morning, MBA readers,

It’s another Hump Day and another busy for Missouri business news. Sprint has finalized the sale and lease-back deal of its flagship campus. One of St. Louis’ biggest private firms has completed what it calls its “largest” deal yet. And Missouri insurance officials have issued a new report raising concerns about the market for earthquake coverage in the state. Keep reading to get up to speed on these and other top business headlines from around Missouri.

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From our newsroom

New Madrid fault earthquake insurance market at risk of collapse, state officials say
As Southern California dealt with the aftermath of last week’s earthquakes, Missouri officials expressed concern about the potential price of a tremor in the southeastern part of this state.

Danforth Center researchers hope enzyme leads to cleaner, cheaper opioid antidotes
Researchers at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in Creve Coeur have discovered an enzyme they say could decrease the toxicity and cost of producing drugs to reverse the effects of opioids.

In Pitchin’ Episode 3, student entrepreneurs get real about struggles
The latest episode of our Pitchin’ podcast explores entrepreneurs’ struggles, looking at what three students give up because of their startups — and why they believe those sacrifices are worth it.

Stay alert

Trump approves second disaster declaration for Missouri
President Donald Trump on Tuesday approved federal assistance for 20 out of 41 Missouri counties that have asked for help following devastating tornadoes and flooding. (Associated Press)

New report reduces previous tornado damage estimate
A preliminary assessment released this week said 611 buildings in Cole County and Jefferson City sustained significant damage during a May 22 tornado, down from 1,141 previously reported by the American Red Cross. (Jefferson City News Tribune)

Sprint sells KC-area headquarters, plans lease-back
Sprint has closed on a deal selling its 4 million-acre campus in Overland Park, Kansas, to Wichita’s Occidental Management. As part of the deal, Sprint will consolidate its operations from 11 buildings to four and lease the space back from Occidental. (Kansas City Business Journal)

KC mortgage lender to close after $226 million portfolio sale
MidCountry Financial Corp. will shutter its Kansas City-based subsidiary Pioneer Financial Services once it completes the sale of the firm’s loan portfolio. Founded in 1932, Pioneer has provided mortgages to military veterans. (Kansas City Business Journal)

$3.2 billion St. Louis company completes its ‘largest’ acquisition yet
Core & Main, a Maryland Heights-based distributor of water, sewer and fire protection products, has acquired Long Island Pipe Supply, marking its seventh acquisition since becoming an independent company in 2017. Financial terms were not disclosed. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Hazelwood mall developer unveils NBA player among future tenants, sponsors
Hazelwood-based Big Sports Properties announced that Bradley Beal, a St. Louis native and NBA all-star, has joined its ownership team and will open a basketball training facility at the former Mills outlet mall. Big Sports, which plans to turn the Mills into a $63 million sports complex, said many of the venues will open in early 2020. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Springfield trucking company sues Amazon
In a lawsuit filed last week in federal court, Springfield-based Prime Inc. claims Amazon has caused “irreparable injury” to its business by using the name “Prime” on Amazon delivery trucks. (Springfield News-Leader)

Mercy cuts addiction center in Springfield amid budget cuts
Mercy Springfield said its Addiction Recovery Center is being phased out with no official closure date yet, citing a national shortage of addiction and mental health experts. (Springfield News-Leader)

Proposal seeks gradual solution to Jackson County reassessments
Preston Smith, a member of the Jackson County Board of Equalization, proposed tossing out all recent property reassessments and gradually increasing property values. Under Smith’s plan, properties that saw a 200% hike in value would see a 14% increase while properties that jumped between 15 and 100% would increase in value by 12%. (KCUR)

Say that again

“When we look at both of those things, we figure, ‘What can we do to make it easier for people to build up their caseload and their private practice here in St. Lous?’ And also, ‘How can we bolster the culturally competent offerings for counseling people?'”

That’s Ben Zeno, mental health coordinator at Casa de Salud, a low-cost clinic in St. Louis for uninsured immigrants and refugees. The clinic saw a “private practice gap” when it branched into mental health care last year, Zeno told St. Louis Public Radio. While many mental health professionals want to open their own private practice, few can afford the rent and other expenses to do so, Zeno said. To tackle this barrier, Casa de Salud offers budding counselors free space if they take on the clinic’s patients as part of their caseload. Today, the clinic has around 20 therapists providing mental health services to 100 patients a month.

Go figure

$10 billion
That’s how much it could cost Monsanto’s parent company, Bayer, to settle thousands of lawsuits from people who blame Roundup for their cancer, Bloomberg reports. In a series of meetings last week, embattled Bayer CEO Werner Baumann reassured key shareholders that he’s confident the company’s lead mediator will be able to broker a deal in some of the cases. The German pharmaceutical giant has lost three trials since it acquired Monsanto last summer. In light of these setbacks, shareholders have questioned the prudence of the Monsanto deal and heavily criticized Baumann over his handling of the Roundup trials.

Hello, my name is

Pure Pitch
The “land shark” pitch competition in Kansas City has opened applications for its fourth annual event on Oct. 15, Startland News reports. Participating startups will pitch to a panel of executives, who then each directly give $1,000 to the startup of their choice. Pure Pitch attendees can vote for a People’s Choice award, which would grant additional funding for the winner.

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


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