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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, May 26, 2007

Mercury trims Barnwell shares

Advertiser Staff and News Services

Mercury Real Estate Advisors LLC, a Greenwich, Conn. investor that sought to have Barnwell Industries Inc. sell off Big Island land, has cut its ownership stake in the Hono-lulu-based company significantly in share sales this week.

Mercury, which was Barnwell's largest shareholder, sold 620,000 shares on Wednesday for about $12.1 million, according to regulatory filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The investor pared its holdings in Barnwell, which is involved in oil and gas exploration as well as being involved in the Ka'upulehu development on the Big Island.

In November Mercury had sent a letter to Barnwell saying the company needed to sell off some of its assets to realize gains and buy back shares of its stock. Mercury has trimmed its holdings in Barnwell to about 778,500 shares in the recent sale.


Pierre Omidyar, a software engineer who founded eBay Inc., the world's largest online marketplace, has joined the board of trustees of Punahou School.

Omidyar, who once attended Punahou, will join a board that includes Steve Case, the former head of America Online, who also attended the school.

Omidyar is also a shareholder in Maui Land & Pineapple Co., a company whose majority owner is Case. Omidyar left day-to-day management of San Jose, Calif.-based eBay several years ago and, among other endeavors, now oversees his foundation that invests in programs that foster self-empowerment.


The federal Administration on Aging this week announced it has recognized Hawai'i's Aging and Disability Resource Center in Hilo as a 2007 Choices for Independence Program Champion.

The announcement is part of a national and state celebration of Older American's Month during May. The pilot site was selected among state initiatives and programs designed to assist older persons and those with disabilities. The project is posted on the Web at www.AoA.gov.

The state Health Department is working on supports that can prove an invaluable community resource, said deputy health director Susan Jackson.


Moody's Investors Service gave Tesoro Corp., operator of Hawai'i's largest refinery and other refineries, a Ba1 rating for $500 million of 10-year senior unsecured notes and a Baa1 rating for its expanded $1.75 billion revolving credit line. It said the ratings outlook remained positive for the San Antonio, Texas-based company.

Moody's said the company benefits from "very strong" margins that are running about twice as much as last year's already high margins.

Tesoro's shares, which began the year at $65.77, were up $3.85 to $119.79 in yesterday's trading.