On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the year in business news in the region — from NGA to Monsanto — with the reporters who know the subject best.
St. Louis Public Radio reporters Maria Altman and Wayne Pratt joined the program and shared the stories they thought shaped the region this year.
“I think Monsanto is a big story in the sense of its long, long, 100-year long history here in St. Louis and a big acquisition, a lot of money on the table, $65 billion,” Altman said. “The NGA choosing to stay in St. Louis was a big deal and Peabody Energy filing for bankruptcy was a pretty big story too. Those are the big three.”
Pratt added: “When you strip away the numbers from this deal, and the numbers are mind-boggling, the fact that the Monsanto name may go away by the time this is all said and done I find very interesting. Another story I did a lot of work on was the U.S. Steelworkers, U.S. Steel in Granite City, and the plight of steelworkers.”
While some 30 different jurisdictions need to vote on anti-trust approval of Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto for anti-trust purposes, Altman said that CEO Hugh Grant was very confident the deal would go through.
If Monsanto is ultimately acquired, Bayer’s North American headquarters will be here in St. Louis and the crops division will also be headquartered here. There will certainly be redundancies, however, particularly in upper levels of management and IT.
“From an innovation and startup standpoint, people are saying this will be great,” Altman said. “Executives will start their own companies here.”
Likewise, researchers from other Bayer sites around the U.S. will be brought to St. Louis to continue work here.
“Everything I’ve read seems to be upbeat at that point,” said Pratt. “The research jobs, I think this will continue to be a strong research hub for a combined company.”
Listen as Altman and Pratt discuss other important business stories of the year, including the $1.75 billion project to keep the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency in the city, a $134 million City Foundry Project, the SAB-Miller deal, Paul McKee, a proposed soccer stadium and Peabody Energy:
As for the business stories to watch in 2017?
Pratt will be watching how the Bayer-Monsanto merger shakes out and is also keeping an eye on the radio industry. Three major commercial radio companies in the U.S. are facing a massive debt load that “could explode at any moment,” he said.
Altman said she’ll be following Centene’s expansion in Clayton as well as some other big development projects, including SLU’s new $550 million hospital starting construction next year.
St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.