In case you missed it, Oracle founder and CEO Larry Ellison is now the proud owner of a Hawaiian Island. Ellison has purchased the Hawaiian Island of Lanai from Castle and Cooke for a reported $500 – $600 million dollars. All in all it seems like quite a steal for the purchase of an entire Hawaiian Island.
The signed sale agreement with Ellison is for the purchase of 98 percent of the island of Lanai owned by Murdock (Castle and Cooke), including two resort hotels, golf course, water utility and roughly 88,000 acres.
“It is my understanding that Mr. Ellison has had a longstanding interest in Lanai,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said in an Agence France-Presse story. “His passion for nature, particularly the ocean, is well known, specifically in the realm of America’s Cup sailing.
Lanai, called the pineapple island, is described as having nearly 50 miles of coastline, two resorts and zero traffic lights, according to a Bloomberg News story. Some of its luxury hotels and rugged rural areas can be reached only by vehicles with 4-wheel drive, the story noted.
Lanai is home to only 3,200 residents.
Forbes ranks Ellison as the third-richest American, with a net worth of $36 billion as of March.
Ellison’s island purchase trumps that of a fellow billionaire, Virgin Media mogul Richard Branson. Branson recently announced he’s reintroduced a native ibis to a small island he purchased in the British Virgin Islands. CNN reports that Ellison’s Lanai, the sixth largest island in Hawaii, is 1,000 times larger than Branson’s island.
Gov. Abercrombie said of Ellison in the AFP story, “He is also a businessman whose record of community involvement in medical research and education causes is equally notable. We look forward to welcoming Mr. Ellison in the near future.”
This is a very interesting purchase. While not a total shock, it is interesting to here that one of our Hawaii Islands is now owned by an individual. While Murdoch was the previous owner the island of Lanai was still categorized as “owned by the Castle and Cooke Company.”
Ellison plans to invest on the island. How and what remains to be seen but first thoughts may be towards making the island more attractive to visitors with more resorts, golf and other amenities. Stay tuned.