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POSTED: Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Outback to pay $19M to settle suit

DENVER » Outback Steakhouse has agreed to pay $19 million to female workers and take other steps, including hiring a new human resources executive, to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit.

A consent decree describing the settlement between the Tampa, Fla.-based restaurant chain and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was filed in U.S. District Court in Denver yesterday.

The EEOC filed a lawsuit against Outback there in 2006, claiming that female workers were denied favorable jobs that prevented them from advancing to profit-sharing management positions.

Outback didn't acknowledge any wrongdoing, and parent company OSI Restaurant Partners said settling the suit with insurance funds was better than spending time and money on litigation.

Under the settlement, the $19 million will be distributed to women who have worked at corporately owned Outbacks for at least three years since 2002. Letters will be sent to them telling them of the settlement.

General Growth called 'overvalued'

General Growth Properties Inc. fell 4.5 percent after Hovde Capital Advisers LLC said in a report that the bankrupt mall owner's stock is overvalued.

“;It is questionable whether there will be any value for current shareholders in GGP common stock,”; Washington-based Hovde said in a 73-page report. Funds advised by Hovde and one of its principals have short positions in Chicago-based General Growth shares, meaning they are betting the stock will fall, the report said.

Shares of Chicago-based General Growth had gained more than 40 percent through Monday after William Ackman's Pershing Capital Management LP, an investor in the developer, said in a Dec. 22 presentation the stock was undervalued. New York-based Pershing owns a 25 percent economic interest in General Growth, including 7.5 percent of its shares. General Growth fell 17 cents to $15.06 yesterday.

Ward fundraiser nets $121,460

Ward Centers' Festival of Giving, a three-day shopping extravaganza that took place Nov. 6-8, raised $121,460 for more than 100 local nonprofits.

Participating nonprofits retained 100 percent of their proceeds from the sale of $10 Festival of Giving tickets, which provided shoppers with discounts and offers at more than 100 shops and restaurants.

Some nonprofits that benefited from the festival include Boy Scouts of America, Friends for Life, Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus and Manoa Valley Theatre.

Broadcom settles securities suit

IRVINE, Calif. » Broadcom Corp. said yesterday it will pay more than $160 million in cash to settle a class-action investor lawsuit related to stock option backdating, but did not admit wrongdoing.

The Irvine-based chip maker said in a statement that it would take the settlement, which still needs a judge's approval, as a one-time charge in the fourth quarter.

The deal would represent the second-largest upfront cash recovery from a company accused of stock option backdating, said Thomas Dubbs, attorney for the lead plaintiff, the New Mexico State Investment Council.

Managed-care company UnitedHealth Group Inc. paid $895 million in 2008 to settle investor claims related to backdating.

ON THE MOVE

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» Starwood Hotels and Resorts Waikiki and Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa has named Jon Clausen as sales manager, Asia sales. He was previously a regional sales manager for Hilton Resorts Hawaii, customer relations assistant director for Wincubic.com and sales manager at Waikiki Parc Hotel.

» Ko'olaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club has announced its officers and board of directors for 2010-2012: Mahealani Cypher, re-elected president; Leialoha “;Rocky”; Kaluhiwa, returning first vice president; Alice P. Hewett, second vice president; Leilani Jones-Tollefson, treasurer; Janine Tully, recording secretary; Teri Loo, corresponding secretary; and Elizabeth Lau, immediate past president. Board of directors: Carol Bright, Donna Camvel, Jerry and Shirley Kaluhiwa, Haleaka Martin, Kona Pelekai, Clifford Loo, Kaiona Kaleikini-Killebrew and Shandry Lopes, and Leimomi Khan, installing officer.

» Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union has awarded the following students $2,000 each from the Masami Oishi Memorial Scholarship Fund: Phyllis Arakaki, Neale Asato, Jacob Baum, Kelli Cadelinia, Coty Gonzales, Ashley Guieb, Kara Kaneshiro, Bryant Lau, Bryson Rafael and Kirstie Saito.