Missouri Minute: Peabody’s coal-to-oil play; Clearent acquires another dry cleaning software firm

Here are today’s top headlines from across Missouri:

Peabody invests $10 million in partnership to convert coal into oil products

A Missouri coal company wants to fan new life into its dwindling industry. St. Louis-based Peabody Energy announced Wednesday that it’s teaming up with Vitol, the world’s largest independent oil trader, and London-based startup Arq in a new business endeavor to convert coal into oil products that the companies say will be more environmentally friendly than traditional coal burning. Read more

Payments company Clearent acquires another dry cleaning software firm

Clearent, a Clayton-based company that makes software to process credit card payments, is acquiring Compass, a Maine-based company that makes software for the dry cleaning industry. It’s the second deal Clearent has made this year for a software company serving that industry, following its January purchase of Utah-based SPOT Business Systems, and it adds to a flurry of M&A activity around Clearent. Read more

Out-of-state union funding surges ahead of ‘right-to-work’ vote

Out-of-state unions are pouring millions of dollars into Missouri campaigns ahead of the state’s “right-to-work” referendum on Aug. 7, which comes just more than a month after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against public sector unions. Groups opposed to the right-to-work referendum, which would ban mandatory collection of union fees, have raised about $6 million more than their opponents in the last four months. Read more

Sinclair alters plans for Tribune deal amid FCC scrutiny

The proposed merger between Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media, which would involve multiple broadcast stations in Missouri and hundreds across the country, is still up in the air amid a last-ditch effort to move the deal forward. Sinclair said Wednesday that it would backtrack on certain station divestment deals in an effort to get its $3.9 billion buyout of Tribune back in good favor with the Federal Communications Commission. Read more

Black & Veatch launches solar app out of internal incubator program

Black & Veatch, the Overland Park, Kansas-based engineering firm, this week announced the launch of Solarhood, the company’s first consumer product in a history dating back to 1915. The Solarhood app was built through Black & Veatch’s Growth Accelerator, an internal company program launched in 2015 to incubate ideas. Read more

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