Good morning, MBA readers,
Bayer finds itself in the news for two very different stories. On one hand, the company donated $500,000 for a STEM career exhibit at a children’s museum in the St. Louis area. On the other, it is doubling down on Monsanto’s alleged surveillance of journalists and critics. Also in St. Louis, Stan Kroenke is taking a lawsuit against him and the NFL to the U.S. Supreme Court after the Missouri Supreme Court denied him the ability to settle the case through arbitration. Plus, the Speaking Startup podcast is back with a new episode that looks at a staple of small-town business. Scroll down for these stories and other top business news from around the state.
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A postcard from the businesses of a small-town square
After a brief break, the Speaking Startup podcast is back. This week’s show offers a glimpse of the entrepreneurial scene in Marshall. In a sneak peek of a forthcoming project focused on entrepreneurs in the mid-Missouri town, we take a look at the heart of Marshall’s business landscape — the square.
Bayer defends Monsanto’s watchlist of journalists, influencers
Monsanto’s parent company Bayer claims that an independent review found no evidence of illegal behavior by the Creve Coeur-based seed maker, which allegedly kept files on journalists, politicians and researchers who could sway public opinion on its Roundup weedkiller. (Reuters)
Kroenke, NFL appeal Rams lawsuit to U.S. Supreme Court
The NFL, the Los Angeles Rams and team owner Stan Kroenke have filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court requesting that a lawsuit in St. Louis be allowed to be settled in arbitration. The appeal follows the Missouri Supreme Court’s ruling on Tuesday that the case must be heard in a St. Louis courtroom. (Associated Press)
Peabody expects weak third quarter
St. Louis-based Peabody Energy expects lower third-quarter earnings due to lower demand and prices as well as a delay in boosting production at its facility in Australia, the coal company announced Thursday. (Reuters)
Garmin’s Disney partnership now includes Marvel products
Olathe, Kansas-based Garmin will produce two special edition watches inspired by Marvel’s “Captain Marvel” and “Captain America: The First Avenger.” The new watches will launch in October and cost around $400. (Kansas City Business Journal)
Schnucks union members approve new contract
Union members of Local 655 who work at dozens of Schnucks grocery stores have approved a new three-year contract with the company, which includes pay raises effective January. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
KC investment firm sells commercial landscaping business
Mission Woods, Kansas-based private equity firm Great Range Capital has sold a majority stake in HeartLand, a landscape management firm it started in 2016, to Connecticut-based Sterling Investment Partners. (Kansas City Business Journal)
Musical instrument maker expands beyond KC
B.A.C. Musical Instruments in Kansas City has acquired Kanstul Musical Instruments, a 107-year-old manufacturer based near Los Angeles. The deal allows B.A.C. to expand its customer base and production capabilities, the company said. (Kansas City Business Journal)
Columbia official charged for deal with developers
Columbia City Councilman Ian Thomas has been charged with a misdemeanor related to his quid pro quo dealings with two developers last year. (Columbia Missourian)
Columbia plans to turn vacant homes into affordable housing
The city of Columbia plans to buy, demolish and redevelop two 6,500-square-foot houses and repurpose them into affordable housing. The purchase and demolition of the properties will cost $65,000, according to a bill presented at a Columbia City Council meeting earlier this week. (Columbia Missourian)
Bayer awards $500,000 grant to Magic House
The Magic House, a children’s museum in Kirkwood, has received $500,000 from Bayer to create the Bayer STEM Pathway, a hands-on interactive exhibit that explores career possibilities in STEM fields. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
On average, 12% of Missouri households per year experienced food insecurity from 2016 to 2018, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Over that span, Missouri’s rate of food insecurity declined to near the national average.
Say that again
“Like any other company, we hire advisers for different types of things all the time.”
That’s what Mark Trudeau, CEO of pharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt, said Thursday in response to media reports that the company may seek bankruptcy protection, Reuters reports. Mallinckrodt, which has its principal U.S. offices in the St. Louis area, has hired law and consulting firms to help limit its liabilities from the many lawsuits filed in a nationwide crackdown on the opioid industry. Company shares fell nearly 45% to a record-low $1.43 on Thursday.
That’s how much the federal government awarded the University of Missouri to help remedy the state’s rural health care shortages, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Most of the money will go to recruitment efforts. With a rapidly increasing population of aging residents, rural Missouri will be short 1,220 primary care doctors by 2025, according to a federal analysis. Plus, eight acute hospitals in rural parts of the state have closed in the last five years, leaving 44 of the state’s 114 counties without a hospital.
Hello, my name is
The Kansas City-based startup is offering what its co-founder Jared McCauslin calls the “Adobe Creative Suite” of vans, Startland News reports. For $50,000, the custom vans come with “all the add ons,” similar to Adobe’s trademark software, McCauslin said. Owners can add showers, cabinets and any kitchen appliances their hearts desire. VanDoIt has a partnership with Ford and offers van options for a variety of customers, from doctors working long shifts to nomads.
It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning. Have a great weekend.