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Here are today’s top business headlines from across Missouri:
Great Plains Energy, the parent company of utility Kansas City Power & Light, continues to negotiate on a possible merger with Topeka, Kansas-based utility Westar Energy. Both companies have agreed to extend the expiration of their merger agreement, originally struck on May 29, 2016, until Nov. 30. In filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the two companies said the November deadline is meant to provide additional time to come up with a revised merger deal that might satisfy regulators. Read more
Gov. Eric Greitens has signed into law a bill allowing utility regulators to approve lower electricity rates for industrial companies using large amounts of energy. The law is intended to entice a steel-works facility and aluminum smelter to open in Southeast Missouri. But the special electricity rates also could be sought by other new or expanding businesses that use large amounts of power. Read more
A new state law could give the St. Louis Port Authority access to a new revenue stream for redevelopment and infrastructure along the Mississippi River. The city’s Port Authority Board passed a resolution Tuesday authorizing the creation of an Advanced Industrial Manufacturing Zone, a designation recently established by Missouri lawmakers. Read more
Mallinckrodt, a pharmaceutical company that has its U.S. headquarters in St. Louis, is one of three drug makers being sued in Tennessee for their alleged role in the opioid abuse epidemic in the state. The prosecutors for three Tennessee judicial districts that together represent nine counties filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Sullivan County Circuit Court against opioid makers Mallinckrodt, Purdue Pharma and Endo Pharmaceuticals. Read more
Panera Bread says digital sales, as of the end of its first quarter, accounted for 26 percent of total company sales — the highest rate in the restaurant industry outside of pizza chains. On an annualized basis, that’s worth $1 billion, Panera said. The results show progress in the Sunset Hills-based chain’s Panera 2.0 program, launched in 2014. Read more
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