Benjamin Takes on HC&S General Manager Duties
HONOLULU--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar. 13, 2009--
Alexander & Baldwin, Inc. (NYSE:AXB) (“Company”) today
announced key organization changes in its agribusiness segment, which
includes Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company (“HC&S”), the state’s only
remaining operating sugar company. Senior vice president Christopher J.
Benjamin will assume general manager duties at HC&S while continuing to
serve as A&B’s chief financial officer and treasurer. Former HC&S
general manager Frank E. Kiger will be leading the Company’s Maui Brand®
Sugar operations, a key area of growth for HC&S.
“HC&S is going through the most difficult period in its history, having
suffered record-setting droughts in 2007 and 2008 and an unprecedented
rise in the cost of fuel and basic commodities it uses to produce sugar
and power. In addition, recent regulatory decisions have severely
impacted power sales revenue and other parts of our business, while
suppressed raw sugar prices limit our earnings potential in the near
term,” said Stanley M. Kuriyama, A&B president.
“We are at a pivotal point, and Chris is the right person to lead HC&S.
He has a good working knowledge of the business, a strong manufacturing
and operations background, and has led the Company’s energy initiatives
for the past 18 months. Chris has the full backing of the Company to
achieve a turnaround. While the challenges at HC&S are formidable, I am
confident that Chris and our dedicated employees at the plantation will
chart the best course of action for the company.”
In 2008, the Company’s Agribusiness segment lost nearly $13 million,
attributable to losses at HC&S. In 2009, it is expected that greater
HC&S losses will be incurred due to the impact of prior drought
conditions, manifested in lower sugar yields and production; a
significant pension cost increase due to the 2008 decline in pension
asset values; and revenue reductions in power sales.
In addition to Benjamin’s assignment, the Company announced that Kiger
will head up all of the Maui Brand® Sugar operations at HC&S.
“Having Frank available to focus 100% on Maui Brand Sugar is strategic
to HC&S’ future,” continued Kuriyama. “His contacts throughout the sugar
industry, and the nation’s food manufacturing sectors, will be a key to
increasing revenues for HC&S from these higher-value sugar products.”
As planned, G. Stephen Holaday will retire from his position as
president, Agribusiness, where he held oversight responsibility for
A&B’s Kauai Coffee Company, Kahului Trucking & Storage, and Kauai
Commercial Company. These operations will report to Kuriyama on an
interim basis. Holaday will retire effective April 15, 2009, capping off
a 26-year career at A&B, including eleven years as HC&S general manager.
Immediately prior to moving to HC&S, Holaday had been the chief
financial officer and treasurer of A&B-Hawaii, Inc., then A&B’s real
estate and agricultural subsidiary. “We are grateful to Steve for his
willingness to take on new management roles over the years and for his
many contributions to the Company,” said Kuriyama, “and we wish him all
the best in his well-earned retirement years.”
About Alexander & Baldwin: A&B
is headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii and is engaged in ocean
transportation and logistics services through its subsidiaries, Matson
Navigation Company, Inc., Matson Integrated Logistics, Inc. and Matson
Global Distribution Services; in real estate through A&B Properties,
Inc.; and in food products through Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company
and Kauai Coffee Company, Inc. Additional information about A&B may be
found at its web site: www.alexanderbaldwin.com.
Statements in this press release that are not historical facts are
“forward-looking statements,” within the meaning of the Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, that involve a number of risks
and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially
from those contemplated by the relevant forward-looking statement. These
forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. This
release should be read in conjunction with our Annual Report on Form
10-K and our other filings with the SEC through the date of this
release, which identify important factors that could affect the
forward-looking statements in this release.
Source: Alexander & Baldwin, Inc.
Alexander & Baldwin, Inc.
Meredith J. Ching, 808-525-6669
L. Halloran, 808-525-8422 (investor relations)