Businesses surge with disasters; also: Navarre makes anime deal, Boston Scientific gets stent OK, Blockbuster balks at Circuit City

All disasters, it seems, come with a silver-lining of opportunity for companies that happen to be in the right place at the right time, and in the right line of business. A tornado that ripped apart a northern suburb in May gave a much needed boost to home builders. The war in Iraq has rained contracts and profits on Minnesota defense industry firms, City Pages reports this week. And now, financial blogger David Enke at Bull Bear Trader predicts that as Midwestern farmers attempt to replant crops washed out by flooding, it’ll be good news for companies that sell fertilizer, including Plymouth-based Mosaic, which will have the ability to raise prices.

A Navarre Corp. subsidiary that distributes Japanese anime flicks in the U.S. has struck an exclusive North American deal with Geneon Entertainment, maker of the Ergo Proxy, Hellsing Ultimate and Black Lagoon series. That means nothing to me, but apparently it’s a big deal to the New Hope-based company. The U.S. market for anime, or Japanimation, is worth approximately $4.35 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported last year, and Navarre’s FUNimation is the leading seller of anime home video in the United States.

Boston Scientific said it has the OK to start selling a drug-coated stent developed by the old Guidant Corp. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the PROMUS stent for treating coronary artery disease. The mesh metal tubes are used to prop open arteries after they have been clogged. The drug coating is meant to help keep the artery smooth and open by preventing scar tissue from forming around the stent. The PiPress’ Chris Snowbeck recently reported on the tangle of competition that’s shaping up for drug-coated stents.

A day after Blockbuster balked on its effort to buy Circuit City, analysts and reporters were asking whether Best Buy might be interested in snapping up its main U.S. rival. It appears not, Dow Jones reports. The company isn’t expressing any interest in purchasing the struggling Circuit City chain, and a spokesperson said it’s currently focused on its international expansion. One analyst said, “Best Buy should continue to let Circuit City suffer and take share from them rather than buy them out.”

Do you have an inside scoop or news tip about a Minnesota company? Spotted something interesting in your RSS reader? Drop Business Agenda a note at dhaugen [at] minnpost [dot] com.

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