Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Monday, February 8, 1999

Hawaii company expands to Europe

Honolulu-based Digital Island Inc., which runs a global electronic business network that bypasses congestion on the Internet, said today it has opened a European headquarters in Geneva.

The company also appointed business development managers in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Spain and Japan, and technical support personnel for Europe and Asia.

The privately owned company was founded in 1995.

Stroh sells brands to Pabst, Miller

DETROIT -- Stroh Brewery Co., the nation's fourth-largest brewer, is selling its beer brands to Pabst Brewing Co. and Miller Brewing Co. to concentrate on its real estate businesses.

In the deals announced today, San Antonio-based Pabst will acquire the Stroh's, Old Milwaukee, Schlitz, Schaefer, Old Style, Schmidt's, Lone Star, Special Export, McSorley's, Schlitz Malt Liquor, and Rainier brands.

Milwaukee-based Miller, a unit of Philip Morris Cos. Inc., is buying Stroh's Henry Weinhard's and Mickeys brands.

Terms were not disclosed.

Hilton name grows in United Kingdom

LONDON -- British leisure group Ladbroke Group Plc said today it agreed to acquire rival hotel group Stakis Plc of Scotland for 1.16 billion pounds, or $1.63 billion, in cash and stock.

Glasgow-based Stakis operates 55 four-star hotels, 22 casinos and 70 LivingWell health clubs, mostly in Britain.

Ladbroke said it will rebrand the Stakis hotels as Hilton, doubling the number of Hilton rooms in Britain to 16,147 from 8,093.

Analysts said the move will boost the British visibility of the Hilton brand, which is relatively weak outside of London. It also will give Ladbroke greater leverage in any discussions with Hilton Hotels Corp., which controls the Hilton name in the United States.



News for mutual fund investors

Aetna will put stock in minority companies

BALTIMORE -- Aetna Inc.'s life insurance and annuity unit will offer a stock fund investing in companies controlled by African Americans, Hispanics and other minorities.

The Domestic Emerging Markets Equity Fund will be managed by Chapman Co., which said that Aetna will offer the product in its retirement services segment.

Aetna, based in Hartford, had assets of $100.9 billion as of Sept. 30. Chapman, based in Baltimore, is a brokerage and investment-banking firm.

Templeton closes Russian mutual fund

MOSCOW -- Templeton Asset Management, one of the top-performing emerging-market fund managers of the mid-1990s, said it's closing down its Russian retail investment fund after a flight of investors brought its value below the legal minimum.

The Templeton Capital Fund will return to investors the 3.3 million rubles ($144,000) that remains, the company said last week.

Templeton said it has another Russian retail fund that is still open although suspended until the Russian government makes good on debt that is held by the fund.

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