FAST FACTS HAWAII
State agency approves sale of St. Francis centers
The state Health Planning and Development Agency has approved Hawaii Medical Center LLC
's proposed acquisition of two St. Francis hospitals on Oahu.
The agency's approval comes on the heels of state Attorney General Mark Bennett's approval of the acquisition last week.
Hawaii Medical Center is made up of 125 local physicians and a Kansas-based investor. The acquisition includes St. Francis Medical Center-Liliha and St. Francis Medical Center-West, for a total sum of about $68 million.
In a letter, the state health planning agency determined there was a public need for the proposed acquisition, and that the cost was not unreasonable. The transfer of ownership is scheduled to close on Jan. 1.
Erika Engle is on assignment. TheBuzz will return tomorrow.
Kaiser may lose as much as $7B
SAN FRANCISCO » HMO giant Kaiser Permanente could lose as much $7 billion over the next two years if its operating expenses continue to rise at the current rate, according to internal projections made earlier this year.
Kaiser's operating costs are increasing 10 percent a year while revenue sources such as Medicare are decreasing, Chief Executive Officer George Halvorson said in an interview. Calling the projected losses unacceptable, he said Kaiser could earn about $2 billion a year if the health maintenance organization can hold expense increases to about 5 percent.
Kaiser's loss projections came to light after an employee sent an e-mail to 180,000 employees on Friday.
Four Seasons chief makes bid
The chief executive and controlling shareholder of Four Seasons Hotels
, Isadore Sharp, made a $3.7 billion buyout bid for the luxury hotel chain yesterday.
The offer by Sharp, 75, who bought his first hotel in 1961 and expanded it into a worldwide empire, is backed by Kingdom Hotels International, a holding company of Prince Walid bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, and Cascade Investment, the investment vehicle of Bill Gates.
If successful in taking his company private, Sharp would reap a huge personal windfall. He would be paid $288 million as part of a long-term incentive plan put in place in 1989, according to a statement from the company.
Nvidia to buy iPod chip designer
SAN JOSE, Calif. » Nvidia Corp.
, a maker of graphics chips for personal computers, said Monday it will acquire PortalPlayer Inc.
, a designer of chips for iPods and other digital media players, in a $357 million deal.
Analysts said the acquisition reflects growing consumer demand for video-capable digital music players and the increasingly competitive and lucrative market for supplying the chips to power those devices.
BK sued over alleged pot burgers
ALBUQUERQUE » Two police officers have sued Burger King Corp.
, claiming they were served hamburgers that had been sprinkled with marijuana.
The lawsuit says Mark Landavazo and Henry Gabaldon, officers for the Isleta Pueblo tribal police, were in uniform and riding in a marked patrol car when they bought meals at the drive-through lane Oct. 8 of a Burger King restaurant in Los Lunas, N.M.
Taser wins another lawsuit over stun guns
Taser International Inc.
, the world's largest maker of stun guns, said it was cleared of any wrongdoing in connection with the death in police custody of a Los Angeles man.
Yesterday's unanimous verdict by a U.S. District Court jury marks the 24th wrongful death or injury lawsuit that has been dismissed or been judged in favor of Taser, the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company said.
The case stemmed from the 2002 death of Eddie Alvarado, 32, following an incident with the Los Angeles Police Department, said Taser General Counsel Douglas Klint. The jury also ruled in favor of the LAPD, he said. The Los Angeles medical examiner determined that Alvarado died from drugs in his system, including methamphetamine, not from the Taser shocks used to subdue him, Klint said.