Missouri Minute: Dorsey looks to fight blight; State committee to assess taxes

Good morning, MBA readers,

Anheuser-Busch InBev may blame “market conditions” for pulling its IPO last week, but analysts say the deal fell apart because the company overvalued its Asia unit. In Jefferson City, a new legislative committee will look to keep tabs on local taxes across the state. And St. Louis-born entrepreneur Jack Dorsey wants to help the city deal with the problem of abandoned property. Read on for these and Missouri’s other top business headlines.


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Mayor, comptroller clash over St. Louis convention center expansion
St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green has accused Mayor Lyda Krewson of trying to usurp her role as the city’s chief financial officer by taking charge of financing arrangements for the $200 million plan to expand America’s Center. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Legislative committee to investigate local taxation
A Missouri House Committee has been formed to assess tax policies of local governments. House Speaker Elijah Haahr said the committee seeks to ensure counties are not “deviously raising Missourians’ taxes.” (Columbia Missourian)

MTC budget to stay flat as startup investment fund increases
The Missouri Technology Corporation’s board of directors approved keeping the organization’s budget for the 2020 fiscal year virtually even at $6.4 million, but it increased targeted spending to $2.5 million for an investment fund that backs high-tech startups in the state. (MBA)

St. Louis board cuts $5 million subsidy for European flights
The St. Louis County Port Authority has cut a program that would have awarded $5 million to an airline that would offer nonstop flights from St. Louis to Europe. Chairman Denny Coleman said the program was an inappropriate use of funds typically used for “community-based economic development.” (St. Louis Business Journal)

Companies settle deadly St. Louis boiler explosion suits for $47 million
Six companies, including Kickham Boiler and Engineering of St. Louis, will pay $47 million to those injured and the families of those killed in a 2017 boiler explosion in south St. Louis. (KSDK)

Crane service firm to double KC-area operation
Belger Cartage Service, which turns 100 this year, plans to double the space it leases in Lenexa, Kansas, by October and improve the surrounding 20-acre area for more efficient storage of heavy equipment. (Kansas City Business Journal)


Hello, my name is

St. Louis Blight Authority
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, a St. Louis native, and Detroit businessman Bill Pulte announced this new nonprofit on Friday, St. Louis Public Radio reports. The group will work with the city of St. Louis to clear a four-block area in the Wells-Goodfellow neighborhood. Pulte, who founded the Blight Authority in Detroit, said St. Louis can be blight-free by 2035.


Say that again

“I hate to say it’s on the honor system, but it kind of is. But if you’re a repeat offender and things happen, like people are (overdosing) on it, then you’re exposed.”

That’s Dan Kessler, president of the Missouri Dental Association, who says the trade group supports the new law restricting the dosage and type of opioid painkillers dentists are allowed to prescribe, The Kansas City Star reports. Under Senate Bill 514, signed by Gov. Mike Parson earlier this month, dentists cannot prescribe more than 10 pain pills a day and must log the reason in the patient’s medical records if they exceed the limit. Dentists could have their license revoked if they don’t comply.


Go figure

2,000%
That was the premium Anheuser-Busch InBev put on its Asia unit’s $9.8 billion IPO, which fizzled out last week, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. It’s a far cry from the offerings for A-B InBev and rivals like Heineken, which were priced at between 11 and 12 times pre-tax earnings. The premium on the Asian unit reflects an overestimation of A-B InBev’s growth prospects in the Asian beer market, which may not be as stable as the company thinks, analysts say.


Word to the wise

Micro-influencer
Loosely defined as someone who advertises to an audience of fewer than 100,000 followers on social media. Micro-influencers, like Alex Caspero of University City, work with companies to promote products in an “authentic” light, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. With 50,000 Instagram followers, Caspero has a much more modest reach than the likes of Kylie Jenner. Still, advertisers say they seek out micro-influencers because smaller audiences tend to be more engaged and valuable than bigger audiences.


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


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