Missouri Minute: St. Louis OKs Build-A-Bear incentives; A-B InBev scraps Asian IPO

Good morning, MBA readers,

Anheuser-Busch InBev’s highly anticipated Asian IPO has been put on ice, but we might see a comeback in the future as the world’s largest brewer seeks cash to pay down debt. In Columbia, the University of Missouri System has penned a health care and research agreement with Siemens. Meanwhile, one of Missouri’s largest law firms has tapped its future chairman. Start your week by getting caught up on these and other top business headlines from across the state.

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From our newsroom

UM, Siemens ink $133 million health care partnership
The University of Missouri System and Siemens Healthineers will collaborate on The Alliance for Precision Health, an initiative to bolster research and train biomedical engineers.

Columbia startup looks to enhance wellness, cannabis understanding
Kristen Williams founded Hempsley to provide people with information about cannabis. She said being in the CBD industry feels like her feet are never quite on the ground because it’s changing all the time.

Stay alert

A-B InBev scraps Hong Kong IPO
The brewer has suspended plans for the initial public offering of its Asian unit, which was slated to be the largest IPO of the year. The offering would have raised up to $9.8 billion to help pay down A-B InBev’s $100 billion pile of debt. (Reuters)

Board denies blight designation for $500 million Springfield development
The Springfield Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority has denied a blight designation for a $500 million development, which would have allowed the developer to get tax incentives. Developer Phil Williams plans to move forward with the project and seek other incentive options to build retail space and a hotel on the 90-acre lot. (Springfield News-Leader)

KC establishes buffer zone for medical marijuana businesses
The Kansas City Council has passed a new rule that would keep medical marijuana dispensaries at least 300 feet away from schools, churches and day cares. (KCUR)

St. Louis OKs Build-A-Bear incentives
The St. Louis Board of Aldermen approved a tax break for Build-A-Bear to move its headquarters and 200 employees to downtown St. Louis from Overland. (St. Louis Public Radio)

Retail fixture firm expands manufacturing in China
IdX, an Earth City-based manufacturer of interior fixtures, has moved into a new 246,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Wujiang City, China. (St. Louis Business Journal)

J. Rieger & Co. opens new KC distillery
The 60,000-square-foot expansion includes three separate bar areas, a historical exhibit and a 40-foot slide that takes customers from the second floor to the first. (Kansas City Star)

Say that again

“In order to build that team … I have to keep my talent high quality. I have to pay them at market rate. I have to make sure that I’m continuing to invest in their education and their increase in skill. And as you do that, then you have to find clients that also value the same thing.”

That’s George Brooks, co-founder of Crema, a digital agency based in Kansas City. In recent months, the company has pivoted its focus toward servicing scaling companies and providing them with new ways to learn, Startland News reports. Earlier this month, Brooks hosted two professional development events catering to high-value startups as part of a potential series of similar events.

Go figure

That’s how much lobbyist spending on Missouri lawmakers has dropped since voters passed a $5 limit on gifts last November, KCUR reports. During this year’s legislative session, lobbyists spent less than $17,000 on Missouri lawmakers, down from $300,000 in 2018. Industry groups like the Missouri Biotech Association say the new rules have significantly changed the way they try to educate and influence policymakers.

Hello, my name is

Roman Wuller
The St. Louis law firm of Thompson Coburn has tapped Wuller, who leads the firm’s 190-attorney litigation department, as its next chairman, the St. Louis Business Journal reports. Wuller will succeed Tom Minogue, who plans to step down as chairman in July 2020 after 20 years in the position. Wuller brings three decades of experience representing corporations in over 300 class-action lawsuits.

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


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