Hello, MBA readers,
A Post Holdings subsidiary has completed a “blank-check” initial public offering, joining a growing wave of companies to do so. The Brentwood-based packaged goods company raised $300 million by selling 30 million units of a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. It now plans to find a company in the consumer products sector to take public through a merger with that SPAC. These public offerings have occurred in record numbers the last two years, gaining popularity on Wall Street as a way to take startups public with less regulatory scrutiny. Also in St. Louis, the law firm Schlichter Bogard & Denton secured a $13 million settlement from Columbia University over excessive retirement plan fees. The firm has sued dozens of companies and universities over excessive fees in 401(k) and 403(b) retirement plans. All told, the firm has secured settlements totaling more than $500 million in retirement plan lawsuits. And, in Southwest Missouri, tourism officials are anticipating a big boost in revenue from group events this year after COVID-19 wiped out such events last year. The Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau is predicting a $26 million economic impact this year from group events following the pandemic-induced halt to such activity.
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Post Holdings property completes blank-check IPO
The Brentwood-based packaged goods company downsized the initial public offering of its special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, raising $300 million. It sold 30 million units for $10 apiece and said it will use the SPAC to “partner with a company in the consumer products industry.” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
St. Louis firm secures settlement in another university retirement plan lawsuit
Columbia University is paying $13 million to settle a lawsuit filed by St. Louis law firm Schlichter Bogard & Denton alleging the university allowed excessive fees on employee retirement plans. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Augusta investor adds St. Charles riverboat to planned amenities
Hoffman Family of Cos., which is investing $100 million to make Augusta into a national wine destination, will bring luxury riverboat excursions to Klondike Park in St. Charles. (KMOV)
Dierbergs seeks $17 million in subsidies for mall redevelopment
The St. Louis-area grocery chain plans to partner with McBride Homes to convert the former Crestwood Mall in south St. Louis County into stores, restaurants and 81 single-family homes. New documents show a possible lender suggests the $67 million deal “would not be feasible” without subsidies. (St. Louis Business Journal)
Additional subsidies approved for St. Louis arts hotel
A city board approved up to $92 million in bonds for the 185-room 21c Hotel Museum in the Downtown West neighborhood. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Mercy Hospital Springfield completes expansion
The hospital started the $7.5 million project on the children’s emergency room in 2019. (Springfield Business Journal)
Kansas City commercial real estate firm appoints new managing partner
Lane4 Property Group promoted Michael Berenbom, its longtime director of investments, to the new role. (Kansas City Business Journal)
As events and other social activities begin to pick back up across the state, Springfield is expecting economic returns along with that. The Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau is predicting a roughly $26 million economic gain this year for the city from group events after the pandemic halted tourism and activities, the Springfield Business Journal reports.
The Community Navigator Pilot Program is a crucial addition to our @SBAgov programs because it helps us to connect with small businesses that have historically been underserved or left behind. https://t.co/4AgLfHnUWr
— Isabel Guzman (@SBAIsabel) May 26, 2021
Small Business Administrator Isabel Guzman shared the announcement that the Small Business Administration is launching a $100 million grant program to connect small businesses with SBA assistance. The Community Navigator Pilot Program aims to help small businesses impacted by the pandemic, specifically in underserved and low-income areas. “These businesses – the smallest of the small in rural and urban America, and those owned by women, people of color, or veterans – have suffered the greatest economic loss from this pandemic,” Guzman said in a press release. Applications are due July 12, and the program will run for two years. Eligible organizations include state and local governments, small business development centers, economic development organizations, nonprofit colleges and universities and Community Development Financial Institutions, among others.
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Core Talent On Demand
Kansas City-area management consulting firm Core Catalysts is launching a service to help businesses tackle projects they put off during the pandemic. The new service, called Core Talent On Demand, will match companies with experienced professionals to help address those projects, the Kansas City Business Journal reports. Jo Anne Gabbert, who joined the company in 2014 as executive vice president of corporate development, is leading the effort. “There are a lot of projects like software development or software implementation and upgrade or process improvement projects as companies look at different ways to do business,” Gabbert said. “Many put off these projects during the pandemic. But now that they realize the remote workforce is possible and you can still be successful, they’re having to change some of their core processes to fit that new model and really rethink the way they go to market.”