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Business Briefs

For Tuesday, December 18, 2012

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services

LAST UPDATED: 10:48 a.m. HST, Dec 18, 2012

Hawaiian to add flight to Maui-L.A. route

Hawaiian Airlines will offer twice-daily flights between Maui and Los Angeles next summer, doubling its service to meet growing demand.

According to a news release, the route will gain 34,000 air seats during the 10 weeks of service, which will be offered from June 13 through Aug. 25.

Tickets for the routes went on sale Monday for flights that depart Los Angeles at 10 a.m., arrive on Maui at 12:25 p.m., depart Maui at 1:55 p.m. and arrive in Los Angeles at 10:05 p.m.

Bay State due $5M in Facebook IPO fiasco

BOSTON >> Morgan Stanley, the lead underwriter for Facebook’s troubled public stock offering, has agreed to pay $5 million to Massachusetts’ securities regulators after they accused it of disclosing a revenue shortfall only to certain analysts and not the general public.

According to state regulators, a Morgan Stanley banker organized phone calls between Facebook’s treasurer and the analysts of major underwriters to relay revenue figures that weren’t included in revised documents Facebook Inc. filed with U.S. securities authorities May 9, about a week before the initial public offering of stock.

The numbers were lower than what many analysts had expected and caused them to revise their annual revenue estimates down about 3 percent below the $5 billion that Facebook had earlier forecast for 2012, according to Massachusetts officials.

Less growth than 2012 forecast for 2013

WASHINGTON >> Business economists believe the country will see modest growth in 2013, with strength coming from a further rebound in housing that will help offset weakness in business investment.

In its latest survey of top forecasters, the National Association for Business Economics says it is looking for the economy to grow in 2013 by 2.1 percent after 2.2 percent growth in 2012. That would continue the same tepid growth the country has seen since the Great Recession ended in mid-2009.

Growth at that pace is not strong enough to make a significant improvement in unemployment. The NABE economists believe unemployment will average 7.7 percent for all of next year, right at the level it reached in November.

Sprint raises offer price to buy Clearwire

NEW YORK >> Sprint, the country’s third-largest cellphone company, said Monday that it will buy out the portion of wireless network operator Clearwire that it doesn’t already own after raising its offer price to $2.2 billion.

The deal would give Sprint control of a struggling affiliate, one it depends upon to provide high-speed “Sprint 4G” data services for some of its phones. It would increase Sprint’s access to the airwaves, meaning it could boost data speeds in coming years. However, cell towers using Clearwire spectrum have poor range, making it difficult to provide broad coverage.

Sprint Nextel Corp. said it will pay $2.97 per share for the nearly 50 percent stake in Clearwire stock it doesn’t already own.

A board committee that excluded Sprint appointees approved the offer. The board hadn’t approved Sprint’s earlier offer of $2.90 per share, or a total of $2.1 billion, which was made Thursday.

Shareholder OKs deal for Compuware

NEW YORK >> Compuware shares jumped 17 percent Monday, after one of its largest shareholders offered to buy the software development company for about $2.35 billion in a bid to turn it around.
New York-based investment firm Elliott Management, which holds an 8 percent stake in Compuware Corp., wants to acquire it for $11 per share.

The offer represents a 15 percent premium over its Friday closing stock price.

Elliott touted its experience in the software industry and familiarity with Compuware, saying that it is “uniquely situated” to get the best value for the company’s shareholders. It said it’s confident that it can find financing for such a deal and wants to meet with the company’s board as soon as possible.

610-link coffee chain sold to German firm

MINNEAPOLIS >> Caribou Coffee is being taken private by a German holding company in a deal valued at about $340 million.

The coffee chain, which has 610 locations in the U.S. and overseas, said Monday that it will continue to operate as an independent company with its own brand and management team once the buyout by Joh. A. Benckiser Group GmbH closes. The German investment firm also purchased a majority stake in Peet’s Coffee & Tea Inc. earlier this year.

Joh. A. Benckiser Group GmbH will pay $16 per share, a 30 percent premium to Caribou’s Friday closing price of $12.32.

China snaps up iPhones

NEW YORK » Apple said Monday that it sold more than 2 million iPhone 5s in China in their first three days of availability, setting a record for that market.

IPhone 5, which launched in China on Friday, will be available in more than 100 countries by the end of December.

The phone first went on sale Sept. 21 in the U.S.


Young's Market Co. of Hawaii has announced the following new personnel to its Hawaii management team: 

» Todd Sydell as district manager. He has 13 years of experience in the beverage industry in Hawaii and was previously a key account manager leader for Anheuser-Busch as well as a merchandiser and sales relief for Pepsi Bottling Group.

» Matthias "Matt" Buchmann as director of sales. His experience includes being key account manager at Johnson Bros., serving in various management positions at Eagle Distributors and being sales representative at Paradise Beverages.

» Michael Russell, vice president of pricing and programming. He has more than 20 years of experience in the wine and spirits industry and was previously a spirits portfolio pricing director at Young's Market Co. California.

» Jeannie Layco, executive assistant travel and hospitality planner. She has  18 years of management experience in the fields of event and travel planning, including working at JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Weil & Associates, Island Partners Hawaii and Destination Hawaii.

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