Tech Billionaire Buys Most of Hawaiian Island

Larry Ellison buys sixth-largest island for undisclosed sum
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2012 12:29 AM CDT
Updated Jun 21, 2012 7:45 AM CDT
Larry Ellison Buys Lanai, Hawaii
Larry Ellison: Hawaii, here I come.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has picked up a sweet vacation spot: 98% of the Hawaiian island of Lanai. It's not clear what he paid for the 141-square-mile isle, but it was offered for sale for up to $600 million by Castle & Cooke, a company owned by billionaire David Murdock. "We look forward to welcoming Mr. Ellison in the near future," said Hawaiian Gov. Neil Abercrombie. "His passion for nature, particularly the ocean, is well known, specifically in the realm of America's Cup sailing." Some 2,000 residents live on Lanai, Hawaii's sixth-largest island. "It's a major trophy for billionaires to say I own one of the eight major Hawaiian Islands," State Senator J. Kelani English tells KGMB-TV.

Murdock, who bought Castle & Cooke for close to $700 million in 2000, shut down most of the pineapple operations on Lanai to prepare for resort development. Some 26,000 tourists visit the island, which has two resort hotels, two championship golf courses, residential developments, and a solar farm, all of which Ellison will own. Other individuals own the 2% of the land that Ellison isn't buying. It's not yet known what the Oracle billionaire plans to do with his acquisition. Murdock, who built a home on the island, will continue to be a sometime resident, and is retaining rights to develop a local wind farm. (More Larry Ellison stories.)

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