Business / In Brief • Feb. 26, 2014

Billionaire purchases $40M in housing

HONOLULU – Property records indicate that Larry Ellison has been buying almost two dozen homes on Lanai for $40 million.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that ever since the co-founder of Oracle Corp. acquired 98 percent of Lanai in 2012, a pair of his companies has been buying mostly luxury vacation homes and condominiums on the island.

Ellison had already acquired 455 rental homes when he bought 98 percent of the island’s 141 square miles, making him the biggest owner of housing on Lanai.

It wasn’t clear what the billionaire planned to do with the homes and condos.

Representatives for Pulama Lanai, Ellison’s management company for the island, and his real estate brokerage firm Island Lanai Properties, declined to comment on the real estate acquisitions.


Matson reports $7.3M net income in 4Q

HONOLULU – The biggest shipping company serving Hawaii is reporting net income of more than $7 million for the quarter ended in December.

Matson Navigation Co. said Tuesday that the earnings include a charge of nearly $10 million to settle a lawsuit.

Matson CEO Matt Cox said in a conference call the case is related to allegations that certain Matson freight forwarder customers had improperly billed the Defense Department for shipping military household goods.

Cox says the allegations lack merit, but the time and costs of litigation and the risks of a jury trial convinced the company to settle.

Matson says it’s not clear how much last September’s molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor will affect future earnings. It says it’s unable to estimate the future costs, penalties, damages or expenses related to the incident.


Licensing information available on mobiles

HONOLULU- The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs is trying to make it easier to check whether a professional in Hawaii is licensed.

The department said Monday that more than 375,000 Hawaii licenses can now be accessed on mobile devices.

DCCA Director Kealii Lopez says the search tool makes it easier for consumers to quickly check if a potential professional for hire holds a current license in good standing.

The department’s Professional and Vocational Licensing Division is responsible for licensing 48 different professions and vocations.


Honolulu Wal-Mart store will hire 150

HONOLULU – A big-box store coming to downtown Honolulu is looking to fill 150 jobs.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is scheduled to open a location this summer at the former Fort Street Mall Macy’s.

KHON-TV reports that according to store manager Ray Griego, the store will be hiring both full- and part-time associates for all areas of the new store, including supervisory positions.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that the city estimated the value of the renovation work for the building permit at $6 million.