Missouri Minute: Royals extend broadcast contract; Missouri Fed chiefs vote against rate cut

Good morning, MBA readers,

In today’s newsletter, we have mergers and acquisitions from all parts of the state. In Kansas City, an auto group added two new dealerships to its portfolio. In Springfield, a Texas-based truck dealer is expanding its Missouri presence with a double acquisition. And in the St. Louis area, the Staengberg Group has taken an interest in the Chesterfield Mall. Once you’re caught up on all the M&A action, give a listen to the latest episode of the Speaking Startup podcast, which looks at how Springfield’s Efactory is working to increase its offerings for entrepreneurs in southwest Missouri. All that and much more is below.

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Stay alert

Missouri Fed chiefs vote against rate cut
St. Louis and Kansas City Fed presidents James Bullard and Esther George were two of three dissenting votes Wednesday against a quarter-point cut to the Federal Reserve Bank’s target rate range. Bullard, who approved the rate cut in July, wanted a deeper cut of 50 basis points. (CNBC)

Royals extend broadcasting contract
The Kansas City Royals have signed a five-year extension with Entercom Communications, giving 610 Sports Radio rights to broadcast all 162 regular-season games plus postseason games through the 2024 season. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Staenberg Group in talks to buy Chesterfield Mall
The Staenberg Group of St. Louis is close to an agreement to buy Chesterfield Mall from Georgia-based Hull Property Group. Hull has made little progress toward redeveloping the mall since it paid $15 million for the property in 2018 in foreclosure. (St. Louis Business Journal)

KC auto group closes on two dealerships
McCarthy Auto Group has closed on its purchase of Nissan and Subaru dealerships in Lawrence, Kansas, from Briggs Auto Group. The deal, first announced in March, brings McCarthy’s total number of dealerships to 11. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Texas truck firm expands Missouri foothold with two acquisitions
Texas-based Summit Truck Group has acquired the majority of the assets of Trans Central Suppliers in Sedalia and Wiethop Truck Sales in Cape Girardeau. Summit has operated in Springfield for two decades and has locations in Joplin, Kansas City, St. Joseph and West Plains. (Springfield Business Journal)

Christian music festival returning to Greene County, expected to draw 40,000
Greene County commissioners voted this week to approve the lease for Light the Way Ministry, a two-day festival that is expected to draw 40,000 people next year. The site, which still remains for sale, was initially planned for a stalled housing development that resulted in almost $14 million in debt for the county. (Springfield News-Leader)

St. Louis startup debuts with $1 million funding, new executive
OptiFunder, a new St. Louis startup that makes software to automate parts of a commercial lending process, has raised $1 million in seed funding. The firm also hired Brian Abbott, a former executive in the real estate and mortgage industries, as its chief operating officer. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Techstars KC returning in 2020 with new funding
Seed accelerator program Techstars Kansas City has announced its 2020 return. The program was in hiatus for 2019 while its managing director Lesa Mitchell was on a “special assignment” with the Heritage Group Accelerator in Indianapolis. (Startland News)

Fountain City Fintech sets October demo day, celebration
Kansas City’s Fountain City Fintech will host a demo day for five companies in its second-year cohort and a community celebration event Oct. 15. (Startland News)

KC architect moves into new space it designed
Overland Park, Kansas-based Klover Architects is moving into a new 7,200-square-foot office space in The District at Lenexa City Center, which Klover helped design. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Now hear this

How the Efactory’s scaling its services for Springfield startups
In this week’s episode of Speaking Startup, we speak with Rachel Anderson, the director of Springfield’s Efactory, an entrepreneurial resource center that just landed a federal grant to help fund its expansion. Plus, we chat with the founder of a spray-paint festival in Kansas City and debut a new segment.

Show me

The number of people without health insurance in Missouri grew by about 18,000, or 0.3%, between 2017 and 2018, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau. The state’s uninsured rate of 9% is half a point higher than the national average.

Say that again

“Patrons who attend the Westport entertainment district now have to go through metal detectors on the weekend, and right now the (Country Club) Plaza is on life support because of the lack of patronage to the businesses on the weekends because of past violence.”

That’s State Rep. Richard Brown, D-Kansas City, talking about the city’s 110 homicides since the start of the year, which he says have hurt business in its main nightlife districts, Missourinet reports. Brown also cited violent crime in the city’s Power & Light District and 18th and Vine Jazz District. Brown, who is treasurer of Missouri’s Legislative Black Caucus, told reporters on Wednesday that he’s asking lawmakers to take action rather than “pray.” He said the city is a finalist to host the World Cup, but that people won’t come if they don’t feel safe.

Go figure

$4 million
That’s how much former University of Missouri professor Michael Budds donated to create the Budds Center for American Music Studies at MU, the Columbia Missourian reports. He said it’s his way of preserving his family legacy, because he’s the last surviving member of his immediate family. Budds worked as a professor at MU for 37 years before retiring last spring, and he said his students were like his children. “I’ve liked some of my students better than some of the others, but I’ve loved them all,” he said.

Hello, my name is

Kimberly Peery
Stereotaxis, the St. Louis-based surgical instrument maker, has named its current vice president of finance as its new CFO, the St. Louis Business Journal reports. Peery, who has been with Stereotaxis since 2003, will replace current CFO Martin Stammer on Oct. 1. Earlier this month, the company was approved to list its stock on the New York Stock Exchange.

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


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