Missouri Minute: Mahomes partners with Helzberg Diamonds; Clearent acquires Texas firm

Good morning, MBA readers,

If auto workers decide to strike amidst contract negotiations this year, they will do so against GM, which has manufacturing operations in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas. Meanwhile, St. Louis-based credit card processor Clearent continued its acquisition streak by taking control of a Texas company. Plus, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes landed a shiny new deal with a local jewelry chain. Scroll down for these stories and other top business news from around the state.


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UAW targets GM in contract talks
United Auto Workers members voted Tuesday to first target General Motors if the union decides to go on strike as it negotiates new contracts with U.S. automakers. The union’s current contracts with GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler expire on Sept. 14. (Associated Press)

Missouri Soybean Association calls on Trump to reconsider biofuel exemptions
Soybean associations from eight states including Missouri wrote to President Donald Trump Tuesday, asking his administration to make up for lost soybean sales resulting from biofuel exemptions granted to small oil refineries. The groups say waivers granted under the Small Refinery Exemptions program have added to farmers’ recent financial hardship. (Reuters)

Missouri scores additional federal funds for bridge repairs
Missouri has received another $21 million from the Competitive Highway Bridge Program, which will allow the state to replace 40 bridges on state highways north of Interstate 70. (St. Louis Public Radio)

Sachs family sells Chesterfield office portfolio
Sachs Properties has sold an 18-property portfolio in Chesterfield to a partnership between Gershman Commercial Real Estate and BurkHill Real Estate. The deal includes 13 multi-tenant office buildings, four retail properties and one industrial warehouse. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Clearent continues acquisition streak with stake in Texas firm
Clearent, the fast-growing credit card processor in St. Louis, has acquired a controlling stake in Texas-based software firm Service Autopilot. It’s the third acquisition this year for Clearent, which has over 600 employees and $20 billion in payment processing volume. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Russell Stover reports data breach at dozens of stores
Kansas City-based Russell Stover Chocolates said point-of-sale-systems in 28 of its stores, including five in Missouri, were compromised for nearly six months. Payment card data, including first and last names, card numbers and expiration dates, were exposed. (Kansas City Business Journal)

DHS, St. Louis to test ‘smart cities’ emergency system
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has partnered with the city of St. Louis for a pilot program to test smart sensors to detect flash floods, large building fires and other emergencies. (St. Louis Public Radio)

Mahomes teams up with Helzberg for new jewelry collection
North Kansas City-based jeweler Helzberg Diamonds has partnered with Patrick Mahomes to create an exclusive collection of diamond necklaces using the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback’s PMII logo. Proceeds from the collection, with prices ranging from $300 to $4,999, will go to Mahomes’ youth-oriented charitable foundation. (Kansas City Business Journal)

MU launches studio for educational video games
The University of Missouri School of Information Science and Learning Technologies has launched Adroit Studios Gaming Lab, a research and development facility focused on online games that promote learning. (Columbia Missourian)


Say that again

“The incentives are not all that great for either side to come to a deal.”

That’s what James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, said Tuesday about the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, Reuters reports. Bullard, one of the most outspoken backers of deeper interest rate cuts, said rates should be cut by half a percentage point at the central bank’s meeting in two weeks in an effort to rectify damage caused by increased tariffs between the U.S. and China. He also called the recent U.S. manufacturing contraction, the first in three years, a “global shock.”


Go figure

688
That’s approximately the number of employees who were moved from the Missouri Department of Economic Development last week as part of a reorganization of the state’s government, Missourinet reports. The Public Service Commission and Office of Public Counsel were moved to the newly named Department of Commerce and Insurance, while the Division of Workforce Development was moved to the Department of Higher Education. Gov. Mike Parson, who lauded the moves as “the most significant reorganization of state government in decades,” said the overhaul will allow the DED to focus on what it’s supposed to be focused on: economic development.


Hello, my name is

STXS
That’s the ticker symbol for St. Louis-based medical device maker Stereotaxis, which will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange this Friday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The company, which previously traded on Nasdaq and currently trades on the OTCQX, entered into a securities purchase agreement with institutional investors for a $25 million private placement last month.


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


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