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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, May 10, 2002

Hawaiian Dredging sold to Japanese firm

By Frank Cho
Advertiser Staff Writer

The parent company of Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. has reached a tentative deal to sell the longtime local contractor to a Japanese firm in an all-cash deal.

Kajima USA Inc., with annual revenue of $16 billion, signed a letter of intent to acquire Hawai'i's biggest general contracting firm from Pleasanton, Calif.-based Dillingham Construction Co. for an undisclosed amount.

Kajima and Hawaiian Dredging have been jointly working on three Hawai'i projects: The University of Hawai'i Medical School; Kamehameha Schools East Hawai'i Campus and the Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas on Maui.

"We could not have asked for a better fit with a potential new owner," said William Wilson, Hawaiian Dredging's president and chief executive officer. "When the purchase becomes final, it will solidify our successful partnership and we look forward to working together on many new projects in Hawai'i."

Hawaiian Dredging has consistently ranked at or near the top of the state's largest general contracting companies, with more than $260 million in revenue last year.

Recently it has worked on some of the Islands' most high-profile projects, including H-3 Freeway, Ford Island Bridge and Kalia Tower in Waikiki for the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

The deal, which is expected to close in July, needs board approval from Dillingham Construction before it can be completed, Wilson said.

Since there is no definitive sales agreement, it is not clear how Hawaiian Dredging would be merged into Kajima USA's operations.

Kajima Corp, a publicly traded company and the parent of Kajima USA, reported more than $16 billion in revenue in 2001 and more than 13,000 employees.

Wilson said Hawaiian Dredging will continue to use its name and be based in Hawai'i. He also said the deal will not result in layoffs for any of the the company's 500 local employees.

Dillingham is seeking to raise cash and concentrate on its Mainland and international operations.

Last year, Dillingham sold its Hawai'i paving operations, Hawaiian Bitumuls Paving & Precast Inc., to rival Grace Pacific Corp. for an undisclosed amount.

With the sale of Hawaiian Dredging, Dillingham Construction no longer will have business interests in Hawai'i, ending more than 100 years of operation here.

Reach Frank Cho at 525-8088, or at fcho@honoluluadvertiser.com.