Billionaire Oracle CEO Larry Ellison bought 98 percent of Hawaii’s sixth-largest island, Lanai, the state’s governor announced on Wednesday.
Ellison, ranked in 2012 as America’s third-richest man, is purchasing the property from fellow billionaire David Murdock. Murdock’s Castle and Cooke Inc, which owns all but 2 percent of Lanai’s 365 sq km, filed a transfer application with Hawaii’s Public Utilities Commission.
Previous media reports put the price tag at between US$500m and US$600m, but the price was not revealed in Wednesday’s filing.
“It is my understanding that Mr. Ellison has had a long standing interest in Lanai. His passion for nature, particularly the ocean, is well known specifically in the realm of America’s Cup sailing,” Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie said in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming Mr. Ellison in the near future.”
Once known for its pineapple fields, Lanai is now visited for its two Four Seasons resorts, golf courses and luxury housing. Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates booked every hotel room on the island for his 1994 wedding.
In March, Forbes listed Ellison, 67, as the world’s sixth-wealthiest man, with a net worth of US$36bn. A yachting enthusiast, he won the America’s Cup in 2010 and brought the 2013 America’s Cup Finals to San Francisco.