Missouri Minute: American Century fills C-suite role; Emerson launches ‘digital transformation’ unit

Good morning, MBA readers,

A couple of St. Louis companies are making a splash on Wall Street this week. First off, a spinoff of Post Holdings has revealed plans to go public as an independent company and could raise up to $100 million. In Chesterfield, Avadel Pharmaceuticals saw its share price surge after an update on its narcolepsy drug tests. There’s also movement in the transportation sector, with updates on the St. Louis airport privatization effort and Missouri’s Hyperloop recruitment. Read on to learn more about these stories and other business news from around the state.

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Emerson launches $650 million ‘digital transformation’ unit
Ferguson-based Emerson announced Monday it has “established a dedicated organization” that will focus on helping manufacturers develop and use digital transformation technologies. The new unit, worth over $650 million, will tap into Emerson’s capabilities in consulting, project management, smart sensor technology and data analytics. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Virgin Hyperloop test pod to make additional Missouri stops
Virgin has announced five additional stops for its Hyperloop One demo unit tour, including exhibits in Columbia and St. Louis next month. (TechRepublic)

St. Louis will require private operator to offer jobs to all Lambert workers
The city of St. Louis said Monday that it would require any company that leases Lambert International Airport to offer jobs to all city employees currently working there. The city has 539 positions at Lambert, 400 of which will soon be covered by an existing collective bargaining agreement. (St. Louis Business Journal)

American Century fills C-suite role left vacant for years
Kansas City’s American Century Investments hired Erik Schneberger as its new chief marketing officer, a post that has been run by committee for almost four years. Schneberger, a 20-year veteran of the financial services industry, was most recently the head of digital strategy for New York-based asset management firm OppenheimerFunds. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Competitor to buy Springfield battery maker
Pennsylvania-based EnerSys has announced plans to acquire Springfield-based NorthStar Battery’s parent company. The $78 million deal includes two Springfield facilities that make batteries. (Springfield Business Journal)

Cultivation Capital opens offices in LA, Philadelphia
St. Louis-based venture capital firm Cultivation Capital announced Monday that it opened satellite offices in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. Cliff Holekamp, the firm’s co-founder and managing director, said the coastal expansions will help the firm develop relationships across the country. (St. Louis Business Journal)

KC law firm wins partial patent victory for Apple’s FaceTime
Erise IP, a law firm in Overland Park, Kansas, has won a partial victory on behalf of Apple in a patent infringement case related to the tech giant’s FaceTime technology. A U.S. trademark board invalidated 19 of 25 infringement claims by Australia’s Uniloc and upheld the remaining claims against Apple related to a system of filtering messages on FaceTime. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Say that again

“As the retail sale of CBD oil and CBD oil-infused products may be illegal, an entity intending on selling these products could be doing so illegally.”

That’s former Missouri Department of Revenue Director Joel Walters talking about the uncertain tax codes surrounding CBD oil, a popular extract of hemp that doesn’t cause users to get high, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports. In March, Walters asked Attorney General Eric Schmitt for an opinion on whether the sale of unregulated CBD products falls under the jurisdiction of a 2014 law allowing CBD to be sold only to epilepsy patients. Unusually, Schmitt’s office didn’t make the opinion public or bound to Missouri Sunshine Law disclosure requests. As a result, CBD businesses seem to be able to get their tax license so long as they don’t say they’re selling CBD.

Go figure

That’s how high the stock of Chesterfield-based Avadel Pharmaceuticals jumped on Monday after the company announced that a narcolepsy drug study is running ahead of schedule, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch. The announcement came after the FDA ruled the company could administer the experiment on a smaller sample size, lowering the required number from 264 patients to 205. Stock rose from $3.36 to $5.04 per share early Monday.

Hello, my name is

BellRing Brands Inc.

That’s the name for Brentwood-based Post Holdings’ active nutrition spinoff, which filed for an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, the St. Louis Business Journal reports. Post announced plans last November to spin off its active nutrition segment into an independent public company to distribute products such as ready-to-drink protein shakes. The company expects to sell $100 million in shares, according to its SEC filing, but the official number of shares to be offered and the price range haven’t been announced yet.

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


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