AOL founder could have majority stake after stock sale done
By ILIMA LOOMIS, Staff Writer
WAILUKU – AOL co-founder Steve Case added to his investment in Maui Land & Pineapple Co. this week by purchasing an additional 4.27 million shares under a rights offering by the company.
Case acquired the stock at a price of $3.85 per share, to invest another $16.5 million into the struggling company, according to a report filed with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.
The sale was made under a plan by ML&P to raise cash by selling 10.4 million new shares to existing stockholders.
The company made a separate announcement this week that it had completed the sale on the New York Stock Exchange.
The proceeds will be used to retire $40 million in convertible notes, giving the company some relief from its significant debt.
Under the offering, each stockholder was offered the right to purchase a limited number of the new shares, in proportion to the size of their previous stake in the company. Case purchased all of the shares that were offered to him.
But he could have access to as many as 6.1 million additional shares if the company’s other stockholders don’t sign up for the rights offering and shares set aside for them are left unsold. The company reported that Case indicated his interest in potentially acquiring all those shares if they were available.
In its report filed with the SEC, the company said Wednesday that it had not yet determined how the unsold stock would be allocated among the investors who wished to purchase it.
With the 7.75 million shares he now owns, Case currently holds a 41.2 percent stake in ML&P, a controlling interest in the company.
But the company said that, depending on how many of the additional shares are allocated to Case, an additional purchase could increase his stake in the company to more than 50 percent.
That could give him even more decision-making power than he already has. Continue reading
Alexander & Baldwin Inc. said it earned $28.9 million, or 70 cents per share, in the second quarter.
President Stan Kuriyama called it “a strong second quarter” compared with the $12.6 million earned in the second quarter of 2009.
Revenue was $398.9 million, compared with $351.0 million for the year before.
On Maui, Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. made a sharp rebound after a bad 2009, which had the A&B board of directors considering whether to continue in sugar.
For the first half – a more informative period for comparison than just the second quarter – operating profit in agribusiness (which includes Kauai Coffee) rose by $13.9 million and net profit edged into the black at $700,000. Agribusiness had lost a net $13.2 million in the first half of 2009.
HC&S shut down its mill for an unusually long refit and it reorganized its plantings, which have been affected by drought for several years. Operational improvements combined with better prices for raw sugar turned losses into profits.
For the January-June period, Maui Brand specialty sugar sales were down $2 million and molasses sales were down $1.3 million, but power sales were up $1.5 million. Coffee sales increased by $1.5 million as well.
The big gains came from raw sugar, whose output was 31 percent higher, primarily from better growing conditions. Continue reading
Maui Land & Pineapple Co. has completed definitive agreements with all holders of $40 million of its debt to repurchase the notes.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday, the company said it had reached agreement with the last remaining noteholders on July 22. It had earlier stated that four-fifths of the creditors had agreed to the deal.
As a result, debt-laden ML&P hopes to retire a large chunk of its obligations that otherwise would have required it to go to financial markets to refinance the $40 million as early as next year. Considering the company’s money-losing status, refinancing would have been difficult and expensive.
Inability to replace the debt with new debt or retire it could have triggered incidents of default with other corporate loans.
In May, the board of directors authorized an additional 20 million shares to be offered to the creditors. Continue reading
HMB workers head to Sacramento to present overtime bill
By Amy Julia Harris
Fifty-one displaced workers from Nurserymen’s Exchange took up a new labor crusade last week, marching to Sacramento to hand-deliver a bill to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk. The bill would extend time-and-a-half pay for farmworkers after eight hours a day and lift a decades-old overtime exemption for agriculture workers. Under existing law, overtime pay for farmworkers kicks in after 10 hours a day and 60 hours a week. Farmworkers are currently the only hourly employees in the state not to receive overtime pay after eight hours a day, 40 hours a week.
Schwarzenegger has 12 days to respond to the bill, which has already passed through the state Senate and Assembly. If signed, the new overtime law takes effect Jan. 1, and could spell big changes for some of the 329 farms in San Mateo County. Continue reading
Form 8-K for MAUI LAND & PINEAPPLE CO INC27-Jul-2010
Entry into a Material Definitive Agreement
Item 1.01 – Entry into a Material Definitive Agreement
Maui Land & Pineapple Company, Inc. (the “Company”) issued senior secured convertible notes in the aggregate principal amount of $40 million in July 2008 (the “Notes”). The Notes mature on July 15, 2013, bear interest at 5.875% per annum and are currently convertible into common stock of the Company at a conversion price of $30 per share.
As previously announced, the Company entered into Convertible Note Purchase Agreements, pursuant to which the Company has agreed to repurchase the Notes, with holders of Notes who hold, in the aggregate, $32.5 million of the principal amount of the Notes, or approximately 81% of all of the Notes currently outstanding.
On July 22, 2010, the Company entered into Convertible Note Purchase Agreements with the holders of the remaining outstanding Notes on the same terms. In total, the Company has entered into Convertible Note Purchase Agreements with the holders of Notes who hold, in the aggregate, 100% of all of the Notes currently outstanding.
A University of Hawaii professor has been awarded a $120,000 grant to jointly study irrigation and human health with an Israeli researcher.
Assistant Professor Tao Yan and his Israeli colleague Cytryn Eddie received the grant from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation.
Their two-year research project is expected to study how human activities like irrigating fields with reused wastewater affects the development of antibiotic resistance in soil.
They’re also due to study how irrigating with reused wastewater may affect human health.
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Chairman C.S. Papacostas said Monday people need to understand these issues to find ways to their ecological footprint.
SAN DIEGO — In a laboratory where almost all the test tubes look green, the tools of modern biotechnology are being applied to lowly pond scum.
Foreign genes are being spliced into algae and native genes are being tweaked.
Different strains of algae are pitted against one another in survival-of-the-fittest contests in an effort to accelerate the evolution of fast-growing, hardy strains.
The goal is nothing less than to create superalgae, highly efficient at converting sunlight and carbon dioxide into lipids and oils that can be sent to a refinery and made into diesel or jet fuel.
“We’ve probably engineered over 4,000 strains,” said Mike Mendez, a co-founder and vice president for technology at Sapphire Energy, the owner of the laboratory. “My whole goal here at Sapphire is to domesticate algae, to make it a crop.”
To: Golf Course & Landscape Industries
From: Norman M. Nagata, Extension Agent
An herbicide test using low rates of Roundup Promax was conducted on goosegrass that exhibited resistance to Revolver, MSMS, and Sencor at Waiehu Municipal Golf Course. You are invited to a field day to see these results at 13 weeks after treatment.
Date: July 30, 2010 (Friday)
Time: 10:45 am to 12:00 pm
Place: Meet at Waiehu Golf Course “Service Entrance” (6th tee) next to Waiehu Beach Park & Baseball Field located at the end of “Lower Waiehu Beach Road” at 10:45 am. We will then car-pool to the test site at the 17th tee.
- 11:00 – 11:15 am Overview of goosegrass control
- 11:15 – 11:35 Roundup Promax & experimental protocol
- 11:35 – 12:00 pm Observe & discuss Roundup results on goosegrass & common bermudagrass
Recertification credits will be offered for:
- Hawaii Dept. of Agriculture Pesticide categories 1a, 3, 6 & 10
- Golf Course Superintendents Assoc. of America
Deadline to register (and to apply for recertification credits) is July 29 (Thursday).
You can register by contacting email@example.com or by calling the Cooperative Extension Service at 244-3242 x230. Please provide your name, company & telephone number should there be any changes on this field day.
This project was partially supported by Monsanto Company and the County of Maui.
Mahalo to Ron Kubo, Superintendent at Waiehu Golf Course for making this test possible.
Michelle Galimba has been moving her livestock across her 10,000-acre Kuahiwi Ranch to higher elevation in Kau on the Big Island in hopes of finding better pastures during a drought that is causing her business and others hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses.
“It’s pretty severe,” she said. “I’d say half of the pastures on our ranch is unusable or going to be unusable very shortly.
“They’re literally turning to dust. The soil’s drying up and blowing away.”
Galimba said South Point received 1.76 inches of rain from January through mid-July, compared with its usual 12 inches.
The National Weather Service said 2010 is bringing the worst drought on record for ranchers and farmers in some parts of the state, including Kau.
“If they don’t have more rainfall at a higher rate in the second half, it could be the driest year on record,” said Kevin Kodama, senior hydrologist for the National Weather Service in Honolulu. Continue reading
For the last quarter century, the Cleveland Botanical Garden went all out for its biennial Flower Show, the largest outdoor garden show in North America. With themed gardens harking back to the Roman empire, or an 18th-century English estate, the event would draw 25,000 to 30,000 visitors.
But in 2009, the Flower Show was postponed and then abandoned when the botanical garden could not find sponsors. This year, the garden has different plans. From Sept. 24 to 26, it is inaugurating the ‘RIPE! Food & Garden Festival,’ which celebrates the trend of locally grown food — and is supported in part by the Cleveland Clinic and Heinen’s, a supermarket chain.
‘The Flower Show may come back someday, but it’s not where people are these days,’ says Natalie Ronayne, the garden’s executive director. ‘Food is an easier sell.’
So it is across the country. Botanical gardens are experiencing an identity crisis, with chrysanthemum contests, horticultural lectures and garden-club ladies, once their main constituency, going the way of manual lawn mowers. Among the long-term factors diminishing their traditional appeal are fewer women at home and less interest in flower-gardening among younger fickle, multitasking generations.
Forced to rethink and rebrand, gardens are appealing to visitors’ interests in nature, sustainability, cooking, health, family and the arts. Some are emphasizing their social role, erecting model green buildings, promoting wellness and staying open at night so people can mingle over cocktails like the Pollinator (green tea liqueur, soda water and Sprite). A few are even inviting in dogs (and their walkers) free or, as in Cleveland, with a canine admission charge ($2). Continue reading