Missouri Minute: Judge pauses new Missouri farm law; Parson talks special session

Good morning, MBA readers,

Bayer and Elanco Animal Health have struck a 10-figure deal under which Elanco would become the country’s No. 2 animal health firm and Bayer would get cash to finance potential Roundup settlements. Elsewhere, the wait is over: Major League Soccer has officially awarded St. Louis with a team. Plus, Kansas City’s star quarterback is the new face — or head, as it were — of Head & Shoulders shampoo. Read on for these stories and other top business news from around the state.

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Judge hits pause on new law handling large Missouri farms
A Cole County judge has temporarily blocked a new Missouri law that prevents local officials from enacting more stringent restrictions on commercial feedlots. Critics of the law say it is unconstitutional and infringes on local control. (Associated Press)

Oregon health official steps in to resolve Centene roadblock
Oregon’s health care chief issued letters to Portland hospitals earlier this month, encouraging them to contract with Centene’s Trillium Community Health Plan. Clayton-based Centene and its subsidiary Trillium are at a disadvantage in Portland, where the Health Share program has a lock on the local Medicaid business. (Portland Business Journal)

Missouri lawmakers could return for special session on vehicle sales
Gov. Mike Parson is considering a “very limited” special legislative session this fall to address a Missouri Supreme Court ruling that dictates how proceeds of vehicle sales are counted as credit in the purchase of new cars. (Missourinet)

Page questions Metro funding request as agency cuts back service
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page questioned why Bi-State Development has asked for more funding while the operator of the Metro transit agency is cutting back service in the area. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Columbia passes medical marijuana licensing rules
The Columbia City Council passed new rules that will require prospective medical marijuana entrepreneurs in the city to pay a $2,000 application fee. Additionally, a review board will consider applicants if the state approves more dispensaries for the city than the limit of seven established by a city ordinance. (Columbia Missourian)

Joplin holds off on incentives for mall developer
The city of Joplin will hold more talks with the developer of the proposed Boomtown Central Shopping Center before the city council considers a tax increment financing district to help pay for the redevelopment cost. (Joplin Globe)

Mahomes is the new face of Head & Shoulders
Procter & Gamble has tapped Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes for new ads selling its anti-dandruff shampoo Head & Shoulders. (Cincinnati Business Courier)

Festus doctor, company admit to health care fraud scheme
Antoine Adem and his company Midwest Cardiovascular have admitted to making fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid claims in a scheme that totalled nearly $150,000 since 2014. Adem faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, while the company faces a $500,000 fine. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Say that again

“Our MLS team and stadium will only add to St. Louis’ renaissance currently underway. It feels amazing. I mean, what an exciting day not only for the ownership group but for the city of St. Louis. We did it.”

That’s Carolyn Kindle Betz, who leads the ownership group for St. Louis’ new professional soccer team. On Tuesday, the group was officially awarded a Major League Soccer expansion team, St. Louis Public Radio reports. Kindle Betz’s group made history as the first majority-woman ownership group in the league after bringing on eight members of the Taylor family, who own St. Louis-based Enterprise Holdings. The new St. Louis team is set to begin play in spring 2022 in a planned $200 million stadium in the city.

Go figure

$7.6 billion
That’s how much Bayer will get for selling its animal health unit to American rival firm Elanco Animal Health, The Wall Street Journal reports. Elanco, which would become the No. 2 animal health company in the U.S. with roughly 13% market share, has about 550 employees in the Kansas City area, according to the Kansas City Business Journal. The deal may also give a shot in the arm to Bayer, which has struggled to contend with mounting legal liabilities from its Roundup weedkiller. The German drugmaker, which has made considerable economic commitments in the St. Louis area, is expected to settle a number of Roundup lawsuits this year to calm investors’ worries over its purchase of Monsanto.

Hello, my name is

Vanessa Vaughn West
The Kansas City law firm of Lathrop Gage has hired Vaughn West as its new director of diversity and inclusion, the Kansas City Business Journal reports. Vaughn West has almost two decades of experience in corporate social responsibility, community relations and communications. Over the last five years, Vaughn West has served as a community relations manager for the city of Olathe, Kansas. She succeeds Michelle Bonner, who resigned in April to join the FUSE Corps executive fellowship program in St. Louis.

Word to the wise

The practice involves products arriving at distribution firms ready for quicker delivery, leaving fewer items sitting in warehouses. This method was at the heart of a lawsuit filed by Imperial-based Paul Beverage Co., which won a $3.3 million award in the case last week, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Paul Beverage, a distributor of Dr Pepper and other beverages in the area, argued that American Bottling Company wrongfully terminated its decades-long contract after asking the firm to begin cross-docking. American Bottling said the termination followed years of customer complaints, but Paul Beverage argued that problems with delivery began when products arrived late, damaged or not at all after it began implementing the cross-docking method.

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


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