Oracle billionaire buys Hawaiian island

Stat of the day: $500-600m. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is buying 98% of the island of Lanai, the so-called 'Pineapple Island' for an estimated $500m. Or maybe $600m. But what's an extra $100m between friends?

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

He is one of Silicon Valley's most flamboyant billionaires. And now Larry Ellison, of 454-foot yacht-sailing, McClaren supercar-driving, tennis tournament owning fame, has made the ultimate purchase: his own Hawaiian island.

The deal, brokered with current owner Castle & Cooke, involves 88,000 acres of land, two resorts, two golf courses, a stable and a smattering of residential and commercial buildings. The remaining 2% will be owned by the state, country and private residents. David Murdock, owner of Castle & Cooke - and the other billionaire resident on the island - will also keep his home and retain the right to build a 20 square mile wind farm on the island.

It's no wonder that Murdock was keen to seal the deal with Ellison - not only is the Oracle boss paying an estimated $500m for the island, he's also paying with cash, and has promised to reinvigorate the local tourism industry, bringing more revenue to Lanai. That's nice of him. Although, according to this video, the current residents of the island aren't all that impressed: they have absolutely no idea who he is...

Ellison, with an estimated net worth of $36bn, is the sixth richest person in the world. He has yet to set a date for his first vacation to the island - as its new owner. But there's little doubt his homewarming party will be a luau like no other. Diamond-encrusted leis, anyone?




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