Missouri Minute: Bunge bundling headquarters; Centene expanding ACA sales

Good morning, MBA readers,

Happy hump day. Centene is planning to expand its sales of Affordable Care Act marketplace plans in 10 states. Also in the St. Louis area, Bunge has announced a move to consolidate its headquarters. Elsewhere, Burns & McDonnell scored over $100 million in military contracts, and Springfield is planning a major expansion of its internet infrastructure. Read on for these stories and more from across the state.

Stay alert

Bunge to consolidate headquarters in Chesterfield
Bunge, a grain trader and soybean processor, will move its corporate headquarters from White Plains, New York, to its offices in Chesterfield, where Bunge North America’s headquarters are located. Bunge has more than 30,000 employees worldwide, including about 525 in Chesterfield. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Centene to expand ACA sales in 10 states
Clayton-based health insurer Centene plans to expand its sale of individual health coverage under the Affordable Care Act in 10 states including Texas, the company said Tuesday. The company already provides ACA health plans to 1.9 million people across 20 states. (Forbes)

Port KC plans to ‘get in line’ with Missouri-Kansas economic truce
The Port Authority of Kansas City approved a measure intended to mirror its tax incentives with those available in Kansas in compliance with the state-level agreement between Kansas and Missouri. (Kansas City Star)

Springfield plans $120 million internet service expansion
City Utilities of Springfield will partner with CenturyLink to expand its SpringNet fiber optic network for business and residential customers. CU will lease much of the new network to CenturyLink for 15 years, which will cover much of the cost of expansion. (Springfield News-Leader)

Allegiant adds MidAmerica-Florida route
Allegiant Air will offer nonstop flights from MidAmerica St. Louis Airport to Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport beginning Nov. 1. An airport official said MidAmerica saw a record 45,000 passengers in August. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Burns & McDonnell scores over $100 million in new projects
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded seven new indefinite delivery contracts to Kansas City engineering firm Burns & McDonnell, including a $100 million project at Scott Air Force base near St. Louis. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Xerox passes over KC for 600-job center
Xerox has tapped Cary, North Carolina, over Kansas City and eight other competing locations for a facility that would have generated about 600 jobs in the area. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Missouri gets another $17.5 million of rural broadband aid
The Federal Communications Commission has authorized about $17.5 million to expand broadband coverage in rural Missouri as part of the fourth round of the Connect America Fund auction. Howard County will receive $11.4 million, and Barry County will get $6.1 million. (Columbia Missourian)

Silver Dollar City announces $30 million expansion
Branson theme park Silver Dollar City has announced a major expansion including the Mystic River Falls ride, a 450-seat barbecue restaurant and other park improvements. (Springfield News-Leader)

Columbia Mall finds buyer for Sears space
The Columbia Mall has asked the city to legally separate an 85,000-square-foot space from the rest of the mall to be sold to an unnamed buyer. A mall official declined to identify the buyer but said they offered to pay “a lot” for the space, which was previously leased to Sears. (Columbia Missourian)

MU expands student housing to off-campus apartments
The University of Missouri will rent private apartment buildings and rooms in Columbia to meet a higher demand for university-sponsored student housing. The school says nearly 1,230 students are returning to university housing for the 2019-2020 school year, a 63% increase from last year. (Columbia Missourian)

Say that again

“What the Irish business community is learning now is that in a place like St. Louis, you have far more opportunity to fail. If you go to the East Coast, to the West Coast, you may get one shot.”

That’s Kevin O’Malley, a St. Louis native and former U.S. ambassador to Ireland. On Monday, O’Malley spoke at an event alongside Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and a panel of business leaders from St. Louis and Ireland, St. Louis Public Radio reports. The event called for deeper ties between the two economies, which already do considerable dealings together. Missouri exports more than $85 million of products to Ireland and imports about $48 million in Irish goods.

Go figure

That’s how much Boeing deliveries fell in the first seven months of 2019, Reuters reports. Deliveries for the seven months through July totaled 258 jets this year, compared to 417 a year earlier, and behind the 458 jets sold by European rival Airbus. The decline highlights the safety and regulation pressures on Boeing, which is struggling to get the 737 MAX, its most popular aircraft, back in service. Southwest, one of Boeing’s major clients, has already cleared the MAX from its schedules until January.

Hello, my name is

Tom Hiles
The University of Missouri fundraising chief has announced he will retire next year, the Columbia Missourian reports. As vice chancellor for advancement, Hiles led the “Mizzou: Our Time to Lead” campaign, which has raised over $1 billion of its $1.3 billion goal since its launch in 2012. Hiles, 60, will retire on June 30, 2020 after the campaign’s conclusion. He has held his position for seven years.

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

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