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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, July 29, 2006

BUSINESS BRIEFS
Kukui Gardens sale almost done

Advertiser Staff

San Francisco-based Carmel Partners said it intends to complete its $130 million acquisition of Kukui Gardens Apartments once the deal receives approval by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Christopher Beda, Carmel's chief investment officer, said in a news release yesterday the buyers will continue to operate Kukui as a rental project over the long term.

Some residents and community leaders oppose the sale of the 857-unit apartment complex near Chinatown, saying it will lead to the displacement of hundreds of low-income and elderly tenants.


WAL-MART CLOSES GERMANY STORES

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is ending its loss-generating business in Germany in what analysts welcomed as a move to focus resources on expanding in more profitable markets like China and Latin America.

Wal-Mart said yesterday it plans to sell its 85 stores in Germany to rival Metro AG, ending a nearly decadelong effort by the world's largest retailer to crack the market in Europe's biggest economy.

Terms were not disclosed, but the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer said it expects to incur a loss before taxes of about $1 billion related to the deal in its second quarter.


WORLDCOM CEO VERDICT UPHELD

NEW YORK A federal appeals court yesterday upheld the conviction of former WorldCom Inc. Chief Executive Bernard Ebbers on charges related to a multibillion-dollar accounting fraud.

The ruling by the three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals could clear the way for Ebbers to begin serving a 25-year prison sentence for his actions as head of the telecommunications company.

Convicted in 2005, Ebbers had argued on appeal that he had been denied a fair trial and that his lengthy prison sentence was unreasonable.

Writing for the court, Judge Ralph K. Winter acknowledged that 25 years is a long sentence for a white collar crime, but added that Ebbers' actions to hide WorldCom's financial problems were substantial, and cost investors dearly.


FAST-FOOD EXEC TO HEAD PFIZER

NEW YORK Pfizer Inc., the world's largest drugmaker, named former McDonald's Corp. executive Jeffrey B. Kindler to replace Hank McKinnell as chief executive officer, effective immediately.

Kindler, 51, also was named to the board, New York-based Pfizer said yesterday in a statement. McKinnell, 63, who will step down almost two years earlier than planned, will stay on as chairman until February 2007.

McKinnell's leadership has come under fire as Pfizer's shares lost 40 percent of their value in his five years at the helm.