Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Wednesday, May 1, 2002

Layoffs at Magellan and former Digital Island

The Hawaii offices of the Magellan health-care services business will close June 28, leaving 51 people out of work, according to a notice to the state Department of Labor & Industrial Relations.

The layoffs will involve employees of Hawaii Biodyne Inc., Magellan Behavioral Health and Magellan Health Services. The businesses have offices on Kapiolani Boulevard, Vineyard Boulevard and in Hilo.

In a separate notice, one-third of the employees are being laid off at the Honolulu offices of what used to be Digital Island, a high-technology worldwide communications business founded in Hawaii.

Cable & Wireless Internet Services Inc. said about 20 of its 60 employees are being let go. Terminations will begin May 24, the British-owned company said. A month later, the layoffs will be complete, Digital Island said.

Senate rejects mandate for worker retention

A bill that would have required any new company purchasing a business in Hawaii to retain at least 50 percent of the acquired business' employees was voted down in the Senate yesterday. Senators voted 12-12 on the measure but because there was no majority in favor of the bill, SB 2118 failed.

If passed, the bill originally introduced by Sen. Bob Nakata, would have required any company buying a Hawaii business employing more 100 peo-ple in the preceding 12 months to retain at least half of the employees. Sen. Avery Chumbley, general manager of C. Brewer subsidiary Maui Tropical Plantation -- which is now up for sale -- said such a law would discourage potential buyers and stifle future capital investment. Chumbley said the bill would ultimately result in even more job loss as employers were forced to shut businesses they could not sell.

Schuler parent Horton sees rise in dividend

D.R. Horton Inc., parent of Schuler Homes Hawaii, declared a cash dividend of 6 cents per share, a 20 percent gain from the same quarter last year. The dividend is payable May 21 to stockholders of record on May 14. D.R. Horton builds homes in 21 states, including Hawaii.

In other news . . .

TOKYO >> The Bank of Japan yesterday upgraded its economic forecasts in its twice-yearly review and said it now expects Japan's $4.1 trillion economy to contract by about 0.5 percent in the fiscal year that began April 1. It previously predicted a 1 percent contraction.

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