Missouri Minute: A-B InBev eyes asset sales; Stifel launches venture banking unit

Good morning, MBA readers,

For a summer Friday, we have an abundance of business news. Boeing has announced a 10-figure concession for canceled 737 Max flights this year. Plus, Anheuser-Busch InBev is mulling the sale of overseas assets to pay down its debt. In Kansas City, a local bank has filed for an IPO and an ag tech startup has landed a major global partner. Scroll down to read more.

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From our newsroom

Speaking Startup: Smart homes and workplace wellness
In this week’s podcast, we hear from hear from Blake Miller, founder of Homebase, a Kansas City startup that makes software to help landlords manage “smart” residences. We also chat with Tara Gregor, owner of BreakWell, a St. Louis company that brings wellness education to businesses.

Demand for medical staffing puts Columbia entrepreneur at heart of growing business
Emphasizing a people-focused approach and operating from a small office in Columbia, Dan Latham believes his company can help solve a problem that’s afflicting the health care industry.

Wet weather takes toll as KC, St. Louis see slight gains in new Fed report
Employment, wages and economic activity across the U.S. grew modestly from mid-May through early July, while price inflation stabilized, according to the Federal Reserve Bank’s latest Beige Book report.

Missouri unemployment holds steady in June
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Missouri remained at 3.3% in June for the fourth month in a row. The state’s economy has added 28,900 non-farm jobs in the last year.

Stay alert

A-B InBev considers asset sales after scrapped Asia IPO
Anheuser-Busch InBev may sell off business units in South Korea, Australia and Central America to help pay down over $100 billion in debt after calling off a highly anticipated IPO last week. (The Wall Street Journal)

Missouri offers loans for disaster recovery
A new state program announced Thursday will offer low-interest loans for borrowers impacted by natural disasters this year. Only applicants from counties with a federal disaster declaration are eligible for the loan. (Associated Press)

Stifel Financial launches startup lending unit
The St. Louis-based investment bank has formed a venture banking and lending group that will target startups in technology, health care and life sciences. The new group will be based in New York City. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

KC-area bank files for IPO
Leawood, Kansas-based CrossFirst Bank, which has $4.26 billion in assets, has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Jackson County tables tax assessment cap proposal
The Jackson County Board of Equalization tabled a plan on Thursday that would have capped property value increases at 14%. At least a third of the county’s property values went up 15% after this year’s assessment. (Kansas City Star)

KC startup lands global partner
Farmobile, a Leawood, Kansas-based startup that enables farmers to monetize data about their fields, has signed a strategic partnership with Ag Growth International, a farm equipment maker based in Canada. AGI will also serve as lead investor in Farmobile’s latest funding round. (Kansas City Business Journal)

St. Charles County officials reject Missouri Bluffs development proposal
The St. Charles County Planning and Zoning Commission voted Wednesday night to reject the Missouri Bluffs development, which would include more than 200 homes near the Katy Trail. (St. Louis Public Radio)

Go figure

$4.9 billion
That’s how much Boeing plans to pay customers to compensate for the worldwide grounding of its 737 Max aircraft, CNBC reports. The concessions, equal to $8.74 per share, will reduce pre-tax earnings by $5.6 billion in the second quarter, wiping out any profit. Analysts expected Boeing to post a per-share profit of $1.80. Boeing anticipates that the 737 Max may not return to passenger service until early next year, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Say that again

“At the end of the day, we don’t care if you’re black, white, green, blue or brown. Everyone needs to learn technology. So, if you would like to participate in the technological industry … I want to make sure that you have access to learning technological skills that can enhance and elevate (your career.)”

That’s Quest Moffat, head of innovation at Project United Knowledge in Kansas City. The accelerator program won a $100,000 investment from the Kapor Center’s $1 million Tech Done Right National Challenge, Startland News reports. Moffat said the funds will help the organization solve what he calls a “leaky pipeline” — that is, a lack of participation in technology by people of color, women and rural residents.

Send tweet


— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) July 18, 2019
There’s one key issue holding up the Sprint and T-Mobile merger: divestiture. Now, the U.S. Department of Justice has told T-Mobile to divest certain assets by July 29 or face a federal lawsuit to stop the merger altogether, CNBC reported Thursday. T-Mobile has negotiated for weeks to sell its prepaid phone brand, Boost, as part of a concession proposed by the Justice Department. However, T-Mobile and majority shareholder Deutsche Telekom want to set restrictions so that the divested assets cannot be sold to a cable company in the future.

Hello, my name is

Adam Weber
The startup marketing veteran will join Clayton-based education startup Varsity Tutors as the new chief marketing officer, the St. Louis Business Journal reports. Weber held the same post at Dollar Shave Club, which sold for $1 billion in 2016. Varsity Tutors has also tapped Mike Dierken, an alumnus of Amazon and McKinsey & Co., as chief technology officer. Varsity Tutors, which offers an online tutoring and learning platform, has grown to over 700 employees and raised a total of $107 million since its founding in 2007.

It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning. Stay cool out there this weekend.


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