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Lion Coffee prowling for expansion

Hawaii’s Lion Coffee brand is working to expand further in California through licensing agreements with entrepreneurs in key markets.

The company issued a news release pitching licenses and quoting an existing licensee.

"I entered into my Lion Coffee License in 2007, and we immediately witnessed the power of the Lion Coffee brand," said Jill Wilkens, owner of the San Diego Lion Coffee Cafe in the Gaslamp District. "We were fortunate to be able to license the Lion brand, rather than franchising — which has large fees, monthly sales royalties and marketing royalties."

The release directs interested parties to the local company’s website but to a mainland phone number and the email address info@lionmainland.com.

Borders still looking for buyer

Borders Group Inc., the bankrupt U.S. bookstore operator looking to reorganize, has failed so far to find a bidder for the entire chain, according to four people familiar with the matter.

Barnes & Noble Inc., Borders’ larger rival, offered to buy about 10 stores, said two of the people, who declined to be identified because the process isn’t public. Other parties also bid for parts of the business, the people said.

The deadline for so-called going-concern bids that would keep the company operating was May 6, two of the people said. The company is still trying to find a buyer for a larger piece of the chain and feels it has a few weeks to make that happen, one person said.

The lack of offers for the whole chain could spell the end for Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Borders, founded 40 years ago as a single used-book store in Michigan. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in February after losing sales to digital devices such as Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindle reader.

Borders, which is closing about one-third of its stores, including four in Hawaii, posted an operating loss of $24.3 million in March, according to court papers.

Food, gas costs lift consumer prices

NEW YORK » Consumers paid more for gas and food in April, lifting inflation to its highest level in 2 1/2 years. But inflationary pressures have begun to ease this month, and analysts say some prices could taper off by summer. The Consumer Price Index increased 0.4 percent in April, the Labor Department said. In the past 12 months, prices have risen 3.2 percent. That’s the biggest year-over-year gain since November 2007 through October 2008.

Yahoo shares sink over China holding

SAN FRANCISCO » Yahoo Inc.’s prized investment in Chinese Internet company Alibaba Group has abruptly turned into a stock market millstone.

The weight drove down Yahoo’s stock by 62 cents, or 3.6 percent, to close yesterday at $16.55. It marked the third straight session that the stock has fallen because of Alibaba worries. The sell-off has reduced Yahoo’s market value by about $2.5 billion, or nearly 11 percent.

The reason: a surprise disclosure by Yahoo on Tuesday that Alibaba had spun off its online payment service, Alipay. The split caused investors to re-evaluate the value of Yahoo’s 43 percent stake in Alibaba, one of China’s most powerful Internet companies.

ON THE MOVE

» Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has appointed Lorenzo A. Henderson regional compliance officer. He has 13 years of experience in health care compliance, management consulting and law, including as director of health care delivery compliance at Kaiser Permanente Southern California. Henderson also served as a compliance officer for the region’s remote care management subsidiary of KP OnCall.

» Jen Chahanovich is this year’s recipient of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii Distinguished Service Award in the category of acute care in the state of Hawaii. Chahanovich is chief operating officer of Pali Momi Medical Center.

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