Economy & Innovation | St. Louis Public Radio

Economy & Innovation

News about the economy, business, and innovation happening in the St. Louis region.

Just begun to fight: A-B presents its battle plan

Jun 27, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 27, 2008 - Seeking to explain why Anheuser-Busch should remain independent, top executives say earnings for the next three years will be well above Wall Street estimates, thanks to the company's revised strategic plan.

These gains will be achieved in part by cutting costs and jobs -- but not by cutting assets, such as the theme parks or the packaging subsidiary, the executives said Friday.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - The foreclosure numbers are staggering, acknowledges Colleen Hernandez, president and executive director of the Homeownership Preservation Foundation that manages 888-995-HOPE, a national hotline for Americans seeking counseling assistance.

A-B rejects InBev's offer

Jun 26, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 26, 2008 - Anheuser-Busch has rejected a $46.4 billion takeover bid from Belgium's InBev, saying the offer was "financially inadequate and not in the best interests" of shareholders.

The announcement, which came about an hour after markets closed on Thursday, turned down the $65-a-share cash offer even though Anheuser-Busch's stock has never reached that level.

Dear A-B, Time is running out, Sincerely, InBev

Jun 25, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 25, 2008 - Belgian brewing giant InBev has sent another letter to Anheuser-Busch reaffirming its desire for a friendly acquisition, assuring that it has solid financing and warning that "time is of the essence." InBev's letter -- its third -- was the equivalent of writing the word "friendly" in capital letters with several exclamation marks added for emphasis.

Credit crunch afflicts hospital projects

Jun 24, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 24, 2008 - The credit crunch is taking a toll on hospital expansion and renovation projects.

Hospitals are finding that it is becoming increasingly expensive to borrow the money needed to finance their building programs. That’s because the interest that hospitals must pay on the bonds they issue is increasing due to decreased demand for those instruments. Interest expense is a significant portion of the total cost of hospital expansion projects.

Left Bank Books plans downtown bookstore

Jun 20, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 20, 2008 - Left Bank Books, one of the few remaining independent booksellers in the country and a local landmark at the corner of Euclid and McPherson avenues in the Central West End, is making moves toward establishing a second store downtown.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Over the coming weeks, the Beacon, in partnership with KETC Channel 9, will be reporting on the sticky web of issues surrounding foreclosure - a crisis for nearly 2 million Americans, including thousands in the St. Louis region who have lost their stake in the American Dream.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 18, 2008 - The possible takeover of Anheuser Busch by the Belgian brewer InBev has sparked the predictable political outcry.

Claire McCaskill, the junior yet up-and-coming Democratic senator from Missouri, announced that she would block the takeover. Supporting the deal wouldn’t be “patriotic.” 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - If you -- or someone you know -- are worried about making house payments, it's time to take action. Trouble is, mortgage talk is a language many homeowners do not understand. ARMs, resets, balloons ... and the dreaded F word: Foreclosure.

A sub-prime mortgage, for example, is not a reference to the interest rate of the loan but to the credit history of the borrowers.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Get help now. Open your mail. Answer the phone. Don't avoid those calls from your lender; deal with your mortgage problems while you still can.

Anheuser-Busch must tell its compelling story

Jun 16, 2008
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Donna Korando | The Beacon

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 16, 2008 - Anheuser-Busch's marketing savvy has made its beer, particularly Budweiser and Bud Light, household names around the globe.

Now, though, A-B faces the promotional challenge of its 156-year independent life: effectively sell its corporate story both in its hometown and to its board and stock holders or surrender its identity to suitor, the Belgium brewer InBev.

InBev sends A-B a not-so-friendly letter

Jun 15, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 15, 2008 - The suitor for Anheuser-Busch has sent another letter to the St. Louis brewer, and this one doesn’t sound as friendly as the “friendly combination” offer made on June 11 by the Belgian beer giant InBev.

Commentary: Give Anheuser-Busch its due

Jun 13, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 13, 2008 - We expect a lot from the Anheuser-Busch companies and the family that runs this most iconic of St. Louis empires. They have alot of money and alot of power. Perhaps out of envy or perhaps because they sometimes deserve it, we don't always say nice things about them.

InBev has reputation of 'machete-wielding' company

Jun 13, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 13, 2008 - Just about anything you might want to know about InBev, the suitor for Anheuser-Busch, can be found in its name -- a stripped-down, technocratic-sounding word that reflects a strategy for merging breweries and cutting costs.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 16, 2008 - The merger business has gotten so complex that it may be tougher to buy half a company than to sell a whole company.

That's the dilemma facing Anheuser-Busch as it contemplates a $65-a-share takeover bid from Belgian beer giant InBev.

A-B has limited defenses against InBev bid

Jun 12, 2008
view of A-B across I-55. 300 pals. 2008
Donna Korando | St. Louis Beacon Archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 12, 2008 - At $65 a share in cash, the unsolicited offer from Belgian beer giant InBev for Anheuser-Busch is one that shareholders will have trouble refusing and that management will have trouble repelling.

Dominance in U.S. market makes A-B a take-over target

Jun 9, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 9, 2008 - (Originally posted June 6, updated June 11.) 

Why has Anheuser-Busch gone from the largest brewer in the United States to the largest brewery takeover-target in the world?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 5, 2008 - KINLOCH - Many of the "Garden Boys" had their crops in the ground when "no trespassing" signs went up. Those signs said who the neighboring developers are, but it wasn't clear to the gardeners who owned the land and whether the garden could stay.

Farm bill breaks new ground in agriculture research

Jun 5, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 5, 2008 - After years of delay, Congress has finally targeted ground-breaking research in food and fiber in the new five-year farm bill. But the real test will come, possibly later this year, when Congress has the opportunity to set aside money to create a National Institute for Food and Agriculture.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 2, 2008 - To get people to move into lofts and condominiums in the heart of the city, which has experienced a residential resurgence in the last decade, property developers in downtown St. Louis are switching strategy. In these tight economic times, developers are moving away from sales and turning to rentals to attract new residents.

2008. person getting haircut. 300 pixels
Kristen Hare | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: May 30, 2008 - People are eating out less, we know that. They're staying home more, saving money for that tank of gas and gallon of milk. That's the consumer side of the story.

But what about people who make their living off of consumer culture? Do real estate agents spend their days playing solitaire? Are waiters giving up their aprons for that acting career? Do travel agents shiver when they hear about stay-cations, the newest trend in travel where people stay home.

Little changes can save a lot of gas

May 28, 2008
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Springfield, Il, State Journal Register

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: With two miles to the nearest neighbor, six miles to the nearest paved road and 45 mountain miles to the nearest gas station, it didn't take our family long to see how rising gas prices affect our daily lives. Farming family or city dweller, we're all in the same dollar-stretching rowboat moored to a diminished American financial lifestyle. But the gas hikes hit home even harder in rural communities, where choice and competition among gas stations are fewer.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: This Bud's for who?

Shares of Anheuser-Busch jumped Friday after a Financial Times blog said the Belgian beverage behemoth, InBev, was considering making an offer worth $46 billion for the St. Louis beer baron.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Mallinckrodt name goes back to the mid-19th century as a source of St. Louis pride in commerce, chemistry and medicine. The name goes back a quarter-century as an example of chronic corporate turmoil.

Since 1982, Mallinckrodt has been bought, sold, split up and spun off. It has been reorganized, restructured, relocated and renamed. Large pieces have been acquired and divested with the regularity of customers going through turnstiles at a sports stadium.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: In the midst of an economic downturn, when unemployment rates hover at 5 percent nationally, it is taking some college students in St. Louis longer to find jobs than usual.

For a few moments during finals week, Cadence Rippeto felt relieved. She finished the last exam of her senior year and stepped into a drizzly day. Then, her relief evaporated.

2008 political cartoon 300 pxls
John Sherffius | Boulder Daily Camera | St. Louis Beacon Archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Recent calls by presidential candidates for a summertime moratorium on gas taxes are misguided and misleading. Sens. John McCain and Hillary Clinton have backed a moratorium on the federal gas tax during the Memorial Day through Labor Day period.

Porcelain dolls are being sold to finance trips to visit a real baby. 300 pxls 2008
Kristen Hare | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The babies showed up on craigslist at 1:26 p.m., May 6. " ...from glowing cheeks to the tips of ten tiny toes. Arms and legs have soft baby creases and folds. He has sparkling brown eyes and brown hair and the cutest little smile.

Ameren Vice President Richard Mark shows the type of cables that are being put under ground to improve reliability.300 pixels 2008 photo
Provided by AmerenUE | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Even as AmerenUE battled a new round of power outages brought on by weekend storms, the Missouri utility giant continues to ramp up its plan to move more and more of its most vulnerable electrical lines underground.

Even as AmerenUE battled a new round of power outages brought on by weekend storms, the Missouri utility giant continues to ramp up its plan to move more and more of its most vulnerable electrical lines underground.

Underground wires

 

Photo courtesy of AmerenUE

Ameren Vice President Richard Mark shows the type of cables that are being put under ground to improve reliability.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Wachovia Corp. spent $6.9 billion to acquire A.G. Edwards; and the last thing the banking giant wants is a mass defection of brokers, who have rated higher on some customer satisfaction and broker satisfaction surveys than do Wachovia brokers.

"Whenever you buy a brokerage business, it's difficult to keep all the brokers," says Jaime Peters, who tracks big banks for the independent financial research firm Morningstar. She and other analysts note that A.G. Edwards' broker turnover rate over the years has been one of the lowest in the industry.

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