Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Monday, October 4, 1999

Hawaii dental firm obtains 12 clinics

American Dental Alliance Inc., a large Hawaii company that managed practices for independent dentists but had no clinics of its own, now has 12 through its recent acquisition of Hawaii Family Dental Centers for an undisclosed price.

The HFDC clinics -- six on Oahu, three on the Big Island, two on Maui and one on Kauai -- have 120 employees and about 80,000 patients, the company said. American Dental Alliance, known as AMDA, is headquartered in Waterfront Plaza and is owned by Honolulu endodontist and businessman Dr. Gary Kondo, who has had his own separate dental practice for nearly 30 years.

Sabre, Preview merge operations

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Sabre Holdings Corp. said today it will acquire Preview Travel Co. and combine it with Sabre's unit to create an online travel business with 17 million members and $1 billion in annual travel sales. The new company, Inc., will be 70 percent-owned by Sabre and 30 percent-owned by shareholders of San Francisco-based Preview Travel, Sabre said, and will trade on the Nasdaq stock market.

Forth Worth, Texas-based Sabre also said the new company will become the exclusive reservations agent for America Online Inc. under a five-year contract.

Report: United to bid on Canada airlines

CHICAGO -- United Airlines reportedly is preparing a counterbid to an offer backed by rival American Airlines for control of Canada's largest air carrier.

United's parent, UAL Corp. based in suburban Elk Grove Village, Ill., and German airline Lufthansa are preparing a bid to buy 35 percent or more of the outstanding shares of Air Canada, the Chicago Tribune reported in yesterday's editions. UAL would not comment on the report.

The bid could block the merger of Air Canada and Canadian Airlines Corp. proposed by Toronto-based investment firm Onex Corp.

In other news . . .

Bullet PASADENA, Calif. -- Gemstar International Group Ltd., which makes the VCR Plus technology for interactive TV program guides, said it would buy TV Guide Inc. for $9.2 billion in stock.

Of Mutual Concern

News for mutual fund investors


Schwab funds pass $100 billion in assets

SAN FRANCISCO -- Charles Schwab Corp., the biggest discount broker, said its mutual funds passed $100 billion in assets for the first time since they debuted eight years ago.

Schwab, the third-biggest provider of index funds and the 15th-biggest mutual fund family, said assets more than doubled in the past two years as investors flocked to its money-market products and low-cost funds that track benchmark stock indexes.

"As index mutual funds have grown in popularity during the past several years, investors clearly have embraced SchwabFunds," said Bill Klipp, president of Schwab's fund unit.

Almost 40 cents of every new dollar in U.S. stock and bond funds this year flowed into index funds, according to Boston-based Financial Research Corp.

Sentinel to launch Growth Index Fund

MONTPELIER, Vt.-- Sentinel Funds of Montpelier, Vt., has launched a new fund, Sentinel Growth Index Fund, which seeks to match the composition, and before expenses, the performance of the S&P/BARRA Growth Index.

The fund buys the same names held by the S&P/BARRA Growth index, which currently number 125. The BARRA index is a subset of the Standard & Poor's 500 index containing primarily large capitalization growth companies with the highest price-to-book ratios. Only a few funds today are based on the S&P/BARRA Growth index.

"This fund is targeted to investors looking for a large cap investment with index-like return potential," said Julie Hendrickson, president of Sentinel Financial Services Company.

The fund will be managed by Robert L. Lee.

Kobrick to broaden distribution of funds

BOSTON --Kobrick Funds LLC announced that it plans to broaden the distribution of its three mutual funds by adding classes of shares. The shares will consist of Class A, B and C shares, as well as no-load Class Y shares for certain institutional investors. The new classes of commission-based shares will be distributed by New England Funds.

"We have added new classes of shares to provide greater opportunities for various types of investors to invest in our funds," said Frederick R. Kobrick, President and Chief Executive Officer of Kobrick Funds.

Kobrick Funds offers three growth-oriented mutual funds: Kobrick Growth Fund, Kobrick Capital Fund and Kobrick Emerging Growth Fund.

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