Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Friday, June 25, 1999

Seattle coffee chain opens first isle store

Seattle's Best Coffee, a West Coast coffee shop chain since 1970, has opened its first Hawaii outlet in the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach hotel.

The local franchise is owned by GMS Hawaii Corp., headed by Werner Gerst. The restaurant will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Gerst said he expects to develop other outlets in the islands.

Dental group votes to return to Hawaii

The American Dental Association, which is expected to bring about 35,000 people to Hawaii for a convention this fall at the Hawaii Convention Center, has booked the center again for a meeting of a similar size in October 2009.

The ADA had met in Hawaii before, in 1989, but its meetings outgrew the existing facilities, said the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau, which is responsible for long-term bookings at the convention center. Once the $350 million center opened a year ago, the ADA was signed up for the 1999 meeting, to take place Oct. 9-12.

The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau said the ADA voted to come back to the islands 10 years later.

GTE Corp. sells Airfone business

IRVING, Texas -- The manufacturer of a widely used in-air telephone will be sold to private equity investment firm, parent corporation GTE Corp. announced.

GTE will sell its in-flight communications unit, GTE Airfone, to Oak Hill Capital Partners LP.

Terms of the deal, announced yesterday, were not disclosed.

GTE, the parent of GTE Hawaiian Tel, said the deal is expected to close in the third quarter, pending approval by federal regulators.

In other news . . .

(PI)CAMDEN, N.J. -- Campbell Soup Co., the world's largest soupmaker, said fiscal fourth-quarter profit will be less than analysts forecast as retailers cut orders to reduce excess inventories. Campbell also will combine its U.S. and Canadian soup and sauce units to cut costs.

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