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Business briefs

For Wednesday, August 25, 2010

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 10:53 p.m. HST, Aug 26, 2010


CORRECTION

» Tema Watson of Hui No Ke Ola Pono Inc. was one of seven Maui residents to be certified by the Society for Human Resource Management, following a training program. An earlier version misspelled Watson's first name as Temma and listed her organization as Hui Ola Pono Inc.

 

Hawaii Biotech vaccine sold for $3.1M

A subsidiary of pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. paid $3.1 million to acquire Hawaii Biotech's dengue fever vaccine research unit, according to a bankruptcy court filing.

The asset sale provided much-needed capital for Hawaii Biotech, which filed for bankruptcy in December and was on the verge of exhausting its credit line.

The winning bid by Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., approved July 19 by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Faris, beat out a $1.45 million credit bid offer by stalking-horse bidder HBI Acquisition Corp.

Hawaii Biotech is planning to begin a phase 1 human clinical study of its tetravalent dengue vaccine later this year. Under a contract from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Advanced BioScience will oversee manufacturing, assembling and testing of supplies.

Outrigger joins Vietnam resort plans

Honolulu-based Outrigger Enterprises Group was one of three U.S. hotel companies hired to manage various parts of the planned oceanfront Vinh Hoi Bay Golf Resort in Vietnam.

Outrigger will be joined by Marriott International and Ritz-Carlton at the $250 million resort that will be built in phases along the central Vietnamese coast beginning in mid-2011. The 800-acre project is being built by Vietnamese American Hotel and Resort Co., a subsidiary of the U.S. investment firm ITC Spectrum LLC.

The first phase will include the Outrigger Vinh Hoi Bay Resort and Spa with 210 rooms and 46 private villas. The hotel is expected to open by the end of 2013, according to a news release from the developer.

The initial phase also will include a 100-villa development by Ritz-Carlton, a 320-room JW Marriott hotel, an 18-hole golf course, a retail village and an arboretum.

7 Maui residents get HR certification

A national organization for human resources professionals said seven Maui residents recently obtained national certification after the group set up its training program on the island to help reduce costs.

The Society for Human Resource Management provided a six-week study course and testing on Maui instead of Oahu. The organization used college instructors to run the program, and the nonprofit Maui Economic Opportunity provided space for testing.

Ten individuals took the course, which cost close to $900, and seven passed.

The seven are Rossel Critchlow of HM Host Corp., Betsy Scheller of IMUA Family Services, Terri Yaris of Makena Beach and Golf Resort, Tema Watson of Hui No Ke Ola Pono Inc., Debbie Cabebe of Maui Economic Opportunity, Kelly Hoppe-Soldwisch of Maui Ocean Club and Donna Jones of Pro Service Hawaii.

Barnes & Noble loses $62.5 million

NEW YORK » Barnes & Noble Inc. posted a first-quarter loss on legal expenses related to its proxy fight with billionaire financier Ron Burkle and cut its annual earnings outlook on costs related to the fight.

Burkle's company, Yucaipa, was the former majority shareholder of Aloha Airlines.

Still, the struggling bookseller reported it was making inroads with its online bookstore and e-book reader Nook. Some analysts said that was a sign of optimism as the company can make up for falling sales in retail stores online.

The largest U.S. traditional bookseller said it lost $62.5 million, or $1.12 a share, in the quarter ended July 31. Last year during the same period, it earned $12.3 million, or 21 cents a share. Revenue rose 21 percent to $1.4 billion, although the cost of sales rose as the company invested more in its online book store and Nook e-reader.

On the Move

The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, has named Kevin Sahara as revenue manager. He was previously a beach and pool manager at the Royal Hawaiian.

***

Hawaiian Electric Co. has appointed the following executives:

» Colton Ching has been named vice president of system operation and planning.
» Scott Seu has been named vice president of energy resources.
» Dan Giovanni has been promoted to vice president of energy delivery from manager of the generation department.
» Ron Cox has been promoted to vice president of generation and fuels from manager of the energy solutions department.

***

The automotive technology program at Leeward Community College has received certification by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Leeward's automotive program has been certified in the following service/repair areas: automatic transmission/transaxle, brakes, electrical systems, engine performance, engine repair, heating and air conditioning, manual drive train and axles, and suspension and steering.






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