Larry Ellison to buy Hawaiian island

Lanai boasts two resort hotels and two championship golf courses

Larry Ellison might have a new place to dock his yacht. The billionaire CEO of Oracle has reached an agreement to buy 98 percent of Lanai, one of Hawaii's eight main islands.

The deal, which requires state approval, will see Ellison purchase 88,000 acres of island land from fellow billionaire David Murdock, according to a filing made Wednesday with Hawaii's Public Utilities Commission.

Lanai, advertised by the state tourist board as "Hawaii's most enticing island," is said to be "without an single traffic light," but what it lacks in transport infrastructure it makes up for in opulence. Lanai is home to two Four Seasons resort hotels and two championship golf courses, both of which Ellison will own if the deal goes through.

The price of the sale was not announced but the state filing said it was in the "hundreds of millions of dollars."

Lanai is home to 3,200 people and Ellison, the filing said, "anticipates making substantial investments in Lanai and is looking forward to partnering with the people of Lanai to chart the island's future."

Lanai is one of two of the major islands that is largely in private hands. The other, Niihau, is off the west coast of Kauai.

Ellison founded Oracle in 1977 and is ranked number six on Forbes' billionaires list with an estimated net worth of US$36 billion. Murdock, from whom Ellison is buying the island, is ranked at number 442 with an estimated net worth of $2.7 billion.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @@martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
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