Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Friday, December 6, 2002



Best biz plan can win $25,000

Groups with at least one University of Hawaii student have a chance at a $25,000 first prize for the best business plan.

Organized by the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship & E-Business at the UH-Manoa College of Business Administration, the competition offers a total of $50,000 in cash prizes. Through the competition period teams will be able to attend sessions with business experts and guest speakers.

Each team must produce an executive summary of its plan by Feb. 5 and the finished plans must be submitted by March 28. The final five teams will be announced April 11 and a final judging will take place April 22.

Full information on the contest is on the center's Web site at

Job shadow day needs volunteers

Junior Achievement of Hawaii is looking for people who can show young students how school lessons can be used in the business world at the sixth annual Groundhog Job Shadow Day on Jan. 31.

Students will be matched with volunteer mentors. Hawaii's event is being coordinated by Junior Achievement, the Hawaii Hotel Association and others.

"Over the past six years, this initiative has given adults the opportunity to encourage millions of young people to reach for their dreams, by showing them real world applications for their school work," said Stuart Shapiro, executive director of the National Job Shadow Coalition in Washington, D.C.

For more information, call Deanne Beppu at 545-1777, ext. 11, or e-mail

IBM to buy Rational for $2.1 billion

Armonk, N.Y. >> International Business Machines Corp., the world's largest computer maker, agreed to buy Rational Software Corp. for about $2.1 billion in cash to add tools that developers use to create new programs.

IBM will pay $10.50 a share for Rational, 29 percent more than yesterday's closing price. Rational sells blocks of code and other tools for making applications to customers including IBM, the world's second-biggest software maker, as well as Microsoft Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., and Motorola Inc.

Rational will be the largest software purchase for IBM since Sam Palmisano succeeded Louis Gerstner as chief executive officer in March. IBM has announced or completed 12 acquisitions this year, according to Bloomberg data.

Dole extends buyout deadline

WASHINGTON >> Dole Food Co. Chairman David Murdock extended to Dec. 18 the deadline for talks to acquire the 76 percent of the company his family doesn't already own, according to a regulatory filing yesterday.

Murdock said he again extended the deadline after discussions Wednesday with the board special committee handling the negotiations.

Murdock offered in September to buy the rest of Dole for $29.50 a share. The special committee, made up of independent directors, rejected the offer and said it would negotiate for a higher price while its financial adviser contacted other interested parties.

Dole shares traded closed today at $29.07, down 20 cents, or 0.7 percent, on the New York Stock Exchange.

McDonald's chief says he will step down

CHICAGO >> McDonald's Corp. is replacing its chairman and chief executive, Jack Greenberg, as it struggles to emerge from a deep, two-year slump.

The fast food chain said yesterday that Greenberg, 60, has decided to retire at the end of this year after 21 years at the company.

McDonald's board elected the company's president and vice chairman, Jim Cantalupo, 59, to take over the top two spots.

McDonald's has reported lower earnings in seven of the past eight quarters and recently announced it is slowing its expansion pace as it grapples with a crowded restaurant market, sluggish economy, complaints about poor service and a depressed stock price.

AOL plans $100 million online cut, Post says

WASHINGTON >> Troubled media giant AOL Time Warner Inc. plans to cut at least $100 million in operating expenses in its Internet unit because of a sharp drop in advertising revenue and a shift in strategy, the Washington Post reported in its Friday edition.

Citing anonymous sources, the Post said AOL plans to slash hundreds of jobs at the Internet unit's Northern Virginia headquarters because it expects ad revenue to drop 50 percent next year. Vice Chairman Joseph A. Ripp said the America Online service, which has 35 million subscribers, will face cuts in all divisions, including layoffs in New York, California and Ohio, sources said.

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