Missouri Minute: Anthem to turn to CVS; Missouri ranks 16th in tax climate for business

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

Anthem will turn to CVS after troubled Express Scripts deal

Health insurer Anthem Inc. said on Wednesday it signed a five-year agreement with drug retailer CVS Health Corp. to support its newly launched pharmacy benefit management business. The news comes at a time when Anthem is close to expiration of its current contract with St. Louis County-based Express Scripts Holding Co., the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit manager. Express Scripts in April said it is most likely to lose its top client. Read more

Report: Missouri ranks 16th in tax climate for business

Missouri’s tax code ranks 16th among the 50 states, unchanged from the previous year, according to a study released Tuesday. The Tax Foundation’s annual State Business Tax Climate Index ranks states based on their tax structure. It compares all 50 states on more than 100 variables in five tax categories — corporate, sales, unemployment insurance and property and individual income. Read more

SoftBank plans to utilize Sprint’s assets to launch $5B joint venture

Sprint’s primary owner will enter the cell tower business, thanks to a joint venture announced Tuesday. Tokyo-based SoftBank Group Corp. will partner with Lendlease Group, an Australian property and infrastructure group, to form Lendlease Towers. Lendlease will serve as the joint venture manager, asset manager and development manager. A Lendlease spokesman confirmed Sprint’s assets will be included in the portfolio, though he added the joint venture is focused on working with all major carriers to meet consumers’ growing thirst for data. Read more

Jeff Roe’s Axiom Strategies acquires California consulting firm

Revolvis, a Sacramento, California-based political consultancy, announced it will merge with Kansas City-based Axiom Strategies, the largest Republican political consulting firm in the country. Through the deal, Axiom will open four offices on the West Coast, in San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Seattle. Read more

Missouri appeals court tosses out $72 million Johnson & Johnson talcum powder verdict

The Missouri Eastern District appeals court on Tuesday threw out a $72 million jury verdict for a woman who claimed her longtime use of baby powder and other Johnson & Johnson products contributed to ovarian cancer that killed her. The ruling could jeopardize three other recent St. Louis jury verdicts of more than $200 million combined against the New Jersey-based health care giant, which has also appealed the cases. Read more

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