America's third-richest man buys 98% of Hawaiian island

Fri, Jun 22, 2012, 01:00

BILLIONAIRE ORACLE chief executive Larry Ellison has bought 98 per cent of Hawaii’s sixth largest island, Lanai, the state’s governor has announced.

Mr Ellison, ranked this year as America’s third-richest man, is purchasing the property from fellow billionaire David Murdock.

Mr Murdock’s Castle and Cooke, which owns all but 2 per cent of Lanai’s 365sq km, filed a transfer application with Hawaii’s Public Utilities Commission.

Previous media reports put the price tag at between $500 million and $600 million, but the price was not revealed in the 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,” he said.

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 Mr Ellison (67) as the world’s sixth wealthiest man, with a net worth of $36 billion.

A yachting enthusiast, Mr Ellison won the America’s Cup in 2010, and has brought the 2013 America’s Cup finals to San Francisco. – (Reuters)