Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Monday, July 12, 1999

State reclassifies Maui land for homes

WAIKAPU, Maui -- The state Land Use Commission has reclassified 212 acres of Maui sugarcane land where A&B Properties plans to build 400 homes, a nine-hole golf course and a five-acre park. The commission voted 6-1 to reclassify the land at Spreckelsville from agricultural to urban use.

The developer still must go before the Maui Planning Commission and the Maui County Council for zoning and community plan amendments.

Gannett earnings beat expectations

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Gannett Co., the largest U.S. newspaper publisher, said second-quarter profit rose 9.6 percent on increased advertising sales at its newspapers, particularly USA Today. The publisher of 74 daily newspapers, including the Honolulu Advertiser, said profit excluding a gain rose to $244.2 million, or 87 cents a share, from $222.81 million, or 78 cents, a year ago. Gannett was expected to earn 86 cents by Wall Street analysts surveyed by First Call Corp. Revenue rose 3 percent to $1.343 billion from $1.304 billion.

French firm buys Red Roof Inns

PARIS -- Accor SA, poised to become the world's third-largest hotel company, said it will pay $1.12 billion in cash and assumed debt for Red Roof Inns Inc. of Ohio to give it 10 percent of the U.S. market for low-priced rooms. The French company, which owns Motel 6 budget hotels in the United States, will pay $22.75 a share for Red Roof's stock, 24 percent above Friday's closing price. Red Roof welcomed the bid and said shareholders owning 68.3 percent of the company agreed to sell.

In other news . . .

ARMONK, N.Y. -- International Business Machines Corp., the world's No. 1 computer maker, agreed to buy Sequent Computer Systems Inc. for about $810 million in cash to get parts and software for advanced computer servers. IBM will pay $18 a share for Sequent, 29 percent more than Sequent's closing price on June 28, the day before a report that the companies were in talks.

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