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Top executives from NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric Co. will be the keynote speakers at the second annual Maui Energy Conference and Exhibition on the Valley Isle in late March. Questions regarding the Florida-based energy company's $4.3 billion acquisition of the state's largest utility, which is expected to be completed at the end of this year, are likely to be raised by some of the 200 or so attendees at this year's event, which is being held at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului…
Hawaiian Electric Industries continues the process of spinning off American Savings Bank and merging its utility business with NextEra Energy. On Feb. 1, HEI (NYSE: HE) submitted a letter to the Federal Reserve Board requesting deregistration as a savings and loan holding company, according to its annual report. The report also noted that American Savings Bank's revenues accounted for 8 percent of HEI's consolidated revenues for the past three years. The banks share of HEI's profits have declined…
Supermarket giant The Kroger Co., which nearly acquired Safeway a year ago, may be eyeing Hawaii for its first locationin the Islands. The Cincinnati-based company, which is the largest supermarket chain in the U.S. and the second-largest general retailer in the nation behind only Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT), registered as a new business in Hawaii in early February, according to public records. The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) first registered a new business in Hawaii in 2006, but later withdrew the registration. Kroger…
The Hawaii Venture Capital Association presented its 15th Annual HVCA Deal of the Year to TruTag Technologies and honored entrepreneurs in several categories Thursday night at a gala at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. The crowd included representatives from Hawaii's startup community, from entrepreneurs to venture capitalists. Meli James, president of the HVCA, emceed the event and honored all the finalist and award winners. Categories included investor of the year, deal of the year, entrepreneur…
A Senate bill that would allow the Hawaii Health Connector to offer large group coverage to health insurers is headed to the Hawaii state House of Representatives. Senate Bill 1338 passed the Judiciary and Labor and Ways and Means committees Friday, with amendments. The legislation would revise the current definition of "small employer," from a business of at least 50 to 100 employees to expand the online health insurance exchange's "potential small businesses market." The bill states that offering…
Maui resort Montage Kapalua Bay has appointed a new general manager and sommelier for its signature restaurant Cane & Canoe. Robert Comstock has been named Cane & Canoe's general manager. He has 19 years of experience in the food and beverage industry. He most recently was the general manager of Pacific'O in Lahaina, and prior to that was the GM at E&O Trading Co. in Lahaina and serveral Waikiki establishments like Duke's Canoe Club, Ocean House and Lewers Street Fish Co. He will oversee day-to-day…
Ormat Technologies Inc., the owner and operator of Hawaii's only geothermal energy plant, will sell a 40 percent stake in several of its geothermal plants, including Puna Geothermal Venture's facility on the Big Island, to Canada's Northleaf Capital Partners, according to public records. The $175 million transaction, which is expected to close on March 15, includes establishing a new holding company subsidiary called "ORPD LLC" and implies a total transaction value of about $438 million. Nevada-based…
Despite decreases in total visitor expenditures and arrivals in January, Hawaii's tourism agency has set higher targets for 2015 than it had originally planned. David Uchiyama, vice president of brand management at the Hawaii Tourism Authority, presented revised targets for 2015 at Thursday's HTA board meeting and ahead of its spring meeting next month. (HTA initially presented its 2015 targets at August's Hawaii Tourism Conference.) The board unanimously approved the revised targets at the meeting. HTA…
The Hoakalei Country Club in West Oahu, which was designed by golf pro Ernie Els, was sold to Japan's Hirakawa Shoji Group last year in the range of $25 million, multiple sources have confirmed to PBN. Up until now, the price of the 18-hole, 248-acre course, which opened about six years ago, and is located within the Hoakalei Resort in Ewa Beach, was not disclosed. Hirakawa Shoji Group has extensive experience as owners of a golf course in Japan, a golf academy and golf-related businesses. The…
Aston Hotels & Resorts' Hawaii properties reported positive revenue per available room last year while revenue at parent Interval Leisure Group's Mainland properties decreased. Miami-based Interval Leisure Group (Nasdaq: IILG), the parent company of Aston and Aqua Hospitality, reported that Aston's revenue per available room, or RevPAR, for the year ending Dec. 31 was $137.17, a 2.4 percent drop from $140.55 in 2013. The report said that the drop was due to the inclusion of Mainland resorts, which…


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