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Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Wednesday, November 15, 2000

Chocolate company buys capital firm

Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate Co. said today it has agreed to buy all the stock of Allison Investment Corp., a privately held venture capital and merchant-banking firm. The merger is expected to begin in a month. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

Allison will become a subsidiary of the Honolulu-based chocolate manufacturer under the name Hawaiian Vintage Capital, and the firm's New York office will house a sales, marketing and operations center for Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate. Allison provides financial and operational services to privately held and small capitalization public companies, said Hawaiian Vintage.

Funeral home firm plans reorganization

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Funeral home operator Loewen Group Inc. has filed a reorganization plan and a disclosure statement for itself and numerous subsidiaries with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

Loewen and its subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States and Canada in June 1999. Loewen operates six cemeteries and mortuaries in Hawaii -- Windward Mortuary, Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, Diamond Head Mortuary, Kukui Mortuary in Honolulu, 50th State Funeral Plan Ltd. and Nuuanu Mortuary. The company has not sold any of its Oahu funeral homes since filing for bankruptcy and cannot say whether it has any plans to sell, a spokeswoman said yesterday. Loewen owns or operates more than 1,100 funeral homes and more than 400 cemeteries across the United States, Canada, and Britain. Loewen's reorganization calls for a new parent company for the reorganized group of firms that will issue new, publicly traded common shares to its creditors. The plan also provides for distributions of cash and new debt securities to some creditors, it said.

In other news . . .

Bullet NEW YORK -- Verizon Wireless Inc., the largest U.S. wireless-telephone company, said it will buy Price Communications Wireless Inc. for $2.05 billion to add customers and coverage in the Southeast.

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