Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire


General Growth buys rest of Prince Kuhio

General Growth Properties Inc. has gained full ownership of the 504,000-square-foot Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo by buying it from a partnership it already controlled.

According to a disclosure to the Securities & Exchange Commission, General Growth assumed financing of about $24 million and paid the partnership $7.5 million in cash and a note for another $7.5 million on Aug. 2, for a total value of $39 million. The General Growth-controlled partnership then paid off its two minority investors with $7.5 million each. General Growth first bought into the center in late 1999.

Chicago-based General Growth owns Ala Moana Center and Victoria Ward Ltd.

Macy's Ala Moana opens women's department

The Macy's department store in Ala Moana Center will formally open its new "Macy Woman" department on the fourth floor Saturday.

Macy's said the department features designs for full-figured women and within the department there is a "Macy Island Woman" section with Hawaii-style designs.

The company already has Macy Woman departments in its Kahala Mall, Pearlridge Center, Kailua, Windward Mall, Kona and Guam stores.


Ames discount retailer to go out of business

ROCKY HILL, Conn. >> Ames Department Stores Inc., the discount retailer founded 44 years ago in a Massachusetts textile mill, will go out of business, closing 327 stores and firing about 21,500 workers.

The stores will remain open for about 10 weeks to liquidate inventory, Rocky Hill, Conn.-based Ames said in a statement. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert E. Gerber in Manhattan will consider tomorrow whether to approve the company's request to liquidate a year after seeking protection from creditors, according to a Bloomberg News report.

Fortune dubs Qwest 'The Greedy Bunch'

Qwest Communications has won the dubious distinction of employing the greediest executives, according to a national business magazine.

In a report titled the "Greedy Bunch," Fortune magazine ranks the telecommunications company No. 1 among all U.S. companies studied with $2.26 billion of stock sold by its executives and directors between January 1999 and May 2002.

Philip Anschutz, Qwest founder and director, topped the individual list with stock sales of $1.57 billion.

"The not-so-secret dirty secret of the crash is that even as investors were losing 70 percent, 90 percent, even, in some cases, all of their holdings, top officials of many of the companies that have crashed the hardest were getting immensely, extraordinarily, obscenely wealthy," Fortune wrote.


Daiei to sell hotels to help pare debt

TOKYO >> Daiei Inc., a Japanese retailer struggling to pay off debt of more than $17 billion, hired Lazard LLC to sell six of its seven hotels, a banker who has been offered the properties said.

The hotels -- including a property near Tokyo's Disneyland and others in Kobe, Fukuoka and Osaka -- have 2,078 rooms and could fetch more than $600 million, using the average of an industry standard of between $100,000 to $600,000 per room, investors said. Daiei's chances of finding a buyer may be boosted by an increase in the number of tourists visiting Japan. Overseas visitors rose 7.1 percent to 4.8 million in the five months through May, a jump welcomed as world's second-largest economy battles its third recession in a decade.

Daiei, Japan's No. 3 retailer, has been trying to sell the hotels for more than two years to repay some of the 2.1 trillion yen ($17.7 billion) of debt it had as at February last year.


[Hawaii inc.]


>> Thomas R. Schneider has returned as administrator of the Honolulu Shriners Hospital for Children. He will oversee 200 employees and an operating budget of more than $14 million, as well as collaborate with the hospital's chief of staff and director of patient care services to provide proper care of patients and ensure the hospital is in conformance with accrediting and legal bodies. In 1998, Schneider served a three-month stint as interim administrator in Honolulu before returning to his post at the Shreveport Shriners Hospital for Children in Louisiana.

>> LeeAnn E.P. Crabbe has been named trust fiscal officer for the Queen Liliuokalani Trust. She is a certified public accountant, responsible for overseeing all financial activities of the trust office, which manages its assets. Crabbe was most recently director of budget and financial planning for Kamehameha Schools.

>> Ko Olina Resort & Marina has hired Michael A. Nelson as director of marketing. He will be responsible for the direction and implementation of sales, training, advertising, marketing and public relations activities for the entire resort, including the Ko Olina Marina. He has more than 30 years of experience in the travel and hospitality industry, including working as the Hawaii director of marketing for Hilton Hotels Corp., managing director for the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and vice president of marketing for Princess Cruises and Hotels.


>> Finance Factors has named Paul C. Santos manager of its Kapiolani branch. He will be responsible for generating new loan business and managing internal and external loan sales with a focus on financial products for Hawaii's real estate industry. He has been with the company for more than 20 years, serving in positions that included manager of the bank's Kaneohe branch.

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