Thursday, August 23, 2001

Mac nut firm
CEO resigns

By Russ Lynch

Kent Lucien, a long-time executive of C. Brewer & Co. and its related companies, has resigned from one of them, ML Resources Inc., where he has been president and chief executive officer since September 1995.

MLR is the managing partner of ML Macadamia Orchards LP, the New York Stock Exchange-listed partnership that grows nuts on more than 4,000 acres of Big Island land. Lucien said today that his move away from MLR is related to that company's purchase on Aug. 1 by its chairman, J.W.A. "Doc" buyers.

Lucien remains a director of MLR and of ML Macadamia Orchards but has no executive position with either of them.

Another reason for the shift, he said, is that he needs to put a lot of time into the liquidation of C. Brewer & Co., which is seeking to sell its land holdings and other assets. Lucien is chief executive officer-operations at the privately held C. Brewer.

The company earlier this month agreed to sell its 14,000-square-foot headquarters building in Hilo, a guava business on Kauai, a juice wholesaler in Seattle and some land on the Hilo-Hamakua Coast to Buyers, its chairman, for an undisclosed price.

The company still has thousands of acres of agricultural land and other assets it is seeking to sell. Here's the new structure of operations:

>> ML Macadamia Orchards L.P. continues as a publicly held partnership with J.W.A. Buyers as its chairman.

>> ML Resources continues as its managing partner, with Buyers as its owner, chairman and CEO. Dennis J. Simonis, who was executive vice president and chief financial officer, is now in the position of president and chief operating officer. Wayne Roumagoux was named senior financial officer and controller.

>> An entirely separate company, Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corp., purchased from C. Brewer last year by a mainland group, is under contract to buy all the macadamia nuts produced by ML Macadamia Orchards.

In other news, ML Macadamia Orchards announced the 62nd straight dividend since it was formed in 1986, a payout of 5 cents a share Nov. 15 to holders of record Sept. 28.

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