Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire


The Rev. Kekapa P. K. Lee of Association of Hawaiian Evangelical Churches blessed the Restaurant Row clock tower yesterday. The landmark, which developer Alan C. Beall found at Swatch pavilion at the 1986 World Expo in Vancouver, B.C., will be demolished in the first week of August amid renovations at the Row. The clock once whirled around, sporting bubbles and flashing lights. But metric fittings, corrosion and lack of repair took their toll and the clock became a nonworking anachronism.



Xerox paid its auditor $71.6 million in 2001

Xerox Corp.'s much-publicized accounting problems cost the company more than just a $10 million fine and a depressed share price.

According to the preliminary 2001 proxy that Xerox filed yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Xerox paid PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting company that replaced KPMG as its auditor, $71.6 million last year.

The fees covered auditing duties as well as consulting assignments. The practice of allowing the same firm to handle both types of assignments has emerged as an issue in the recent accounting corporate scandals, raising concerns about a conflict of interest.

In the proxy statement, Xerox also said that three directors, Martha R. Seger, George J. Mitchell and Thomas C. Theobald, were resigning. Theobald had led Xerox's audit committee.

Dave & Buster's says group extends offer

DALLAS >> Dave & Buster's Inc., which owns entertainment restaurants, including one in Honolulu, said a management-led group extended its $255 million tender offer after failing to win enough shares to buy the company.

The offer was extended by a week, to Tuesday at 5 p.m., the company and the group said in a statement. The group said it won't raise the $12-a-share offer. About 44 percent of the outstanding shares not controlled by senior management had been tendered, according to the statement. The transaction is contingent upon 80 percent of those shares being tendered.

Including shares offered by senior management, 51.5 percent of the total shares outstanding has been tendered. The group said it has an option to buy the company rather than complete the offer if two-thirds of all outstanding shares are tendered.

All Nippon Airways may ax some routes

TOKYO >> Japan's government may approve All Nippon Airways Co.'s request to cut unprofitable local routes as early as August, helping the country's biggest domestic carrier ready for rising competition when two rivals merge later this year.

All Nippon, which reported its fourth annual loss in five years in May, is trying to reorganize its domestic business to fend off stiffer rivalry from October when bigger rival Japan Airlines Co. merges with Japan Air System Co. Up to now, the government has informally offered extra access at Tokyo's congested Haneda airport to carriers flying unprofitable local routes, All Nippon officials have said.

The JAL-JAS merger "was a factor" in triggering the reorganization of domestic routes," said All Nippon spokesman Fred Tanaka. The airline is considering dropping some money-losing flights, such as between Sapporo on Hokkaido island and Oita, on Kyushu island, shifting the capacity instead to more popular routes.

Japan tax revenue falls short of target

TOKYO >> Japan's tax revenue fell short of the Ministry of Finance's target last fiscal year, making it harder for the government to lower taxes without driving up the world's biggest national debt.

Tax revenue fell 5.5 percent to &YEN47.9 trillion ($400 billion) in the year ended March 31 from the year before. The tax take was &YEN1.7 trillion below target as record unemployment and falling consumer spending ate into income and sales tax revenue. Corporate Japan also paid less tax as companies from Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. to UFJ Holdings Inc. racked up record losses.

Japan is struggling with the need to lower taxes to try to revive the economy without adding to the &YEN607 trillion of national debt, which is equal to about 140 percent of gross domestic product. Tax revenue is forecast to fall to &YEN46.8 trillion this fiscal year, giving the government little leeway to lower taxes.



[Hawaii Inc.]


>> The Kobayashi Group has named Jerry Kimoto general manager of the Ocean Resort Hotel Waikiki and Queen Kapiolani Hotel, which it recently purchased. He will oversee operations of both hotel, as well as work on the centralization of the sales, marketing and reservations functions for the properties. Kimoto most recently served as assistant general manager of the Ocean Resort Hotel Waikiki.

>> PBR Hawaii has promoted Raymond T. Higa and Kevin K. Nishikawa to associates and Marc K. Shimatsu to information systems manager and landscape designer. Higa has more than 12 years experience in the preparation of landscape architectural plans for various projects in Hawaii. He joined PBR Hawaii in 1998 as a landscape architect. Nishikawa has six years of experience in the industry. He joined the company in 2000. Shimatsu has more than eight years experience in the industry and has been with PBR Hawaii since 1997. He manages the office computer systems network, trouble shoots problems, handles upgrades and computer and software purchases.

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