Missouri Minute: Great Plains could see $500M in Westar breakup fees; Missouri Partnership removed from state budget

Here are today’s top business headlines from across Missouri:

Missouri’s business recruiting arm gets no funding in state budget

The Missouri Partnership, the public-private partnership created in 2007 that aims to attract new jobs and investment into the state, was expected to get $2.25 million in state funding for Fiscal Year 2018. Instead, the money for the Missouri Partnership vanished. While $2.25 million was in the budget bill passed by the state House, the line item for “business recruitment and marketing” disappeared in the conference between the state House and Senate. Read more

Monsanto’s Climate Corp. buys ag tech startup HydroBio

Climate Corp., a Monsanto subsidiary focused on the application of digital technology in agriculture, has acquired a Denver-based software company called HydroBio. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Monsanto said the acquisition will help Climate Corp., which Monsanto bought for nearly $1 billion in 2013, provide irrigation-focused data analytics capabilities to farmers. Read more

Great Plains Energy looking at up to $500 million in breakup fees on Westar deal

As Great Plains Energy negotiates a revised deal to buy Westar Energy by May 31, a hefty figure lurks in the background for the parent company of Kansas City Power & Light: $500 million. That’s the amount that Great Plains Energy could be on the hook for if the agreement to acquire Westar fails. Read more

St. Louis’ Esco Technologies acquires Vermont renewable energy firm

Esco Technologies Inc. announced it has acquired NRG Systems Inc., a Vermont company that does business as Renewable NRG Systems and specializes in sensors, monitoring systems and other products used to support renewable energy operations — especially wind. Ladue-based Esco has a line of products that include instruments and services for electric utilities and industrial power users. The company said in a press release that Renewable NRG Systems will operate within the company’s Utilities Solutions Group. Read more

Sinclair-Tribune deal spotlights media concentration worries

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.’s deal for Tribune Media Co. would give a broadcaster known for its conservative leanings fresh reach into leading media markets including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Sinclair stands to gain stations in 42 cities and expand to a total of 108 communities. The combined company would serve almost three-fourths of U.S. households, raising questions about the concentration of media voices. Read more

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