Oracle co-founder and CEO Larry Ellison is to purchase 98pc of Lanai, a small Hawaiian island made famous from its past pineapple plantations.
Ellison, one of the world’s richest people (Forbes ranked him as the world’s sixth richest person this year) has so far declined to comment on the acquisition of the island, but Hawaii’s State Governor Neil Abercrombie has publicly stated Ellison’s involvement in the deal.
Abercrombie said the island’s current owners, Castle & Cook, have already filed a transfer application with the state’s Public Utilities Commission.
Lanai itself is the sixth-largest of the Hawaiian islands. It has been coined the Pineapple Island, because of its past use for pineapple plantations. It was once the world’s chief grower and exporter of pineapples under the leadership of James Dole, owner of Dole Foods.
With one main city (Lanai City), today, the island hosts three luxury hotels, including a Four Seasons Resort at Manele Bay. According to the tourist website GoHawaii.com, Lanai boasts a population of around 3,193 people and only 30pc of its roads are paved.
The island itself covers 227 sq kilometres and has around 80 kilometres of coastline and no traffic lights.
Ellison himself co-founded Oracle in 1977 in Redmond City, California. According to Forbes, as of March 2012, the 67-year-old had a net worth of US$36bn, which would make him the world’s sixth richest person, and America’s third wealthiest citizen, in the Forbes rich list ranking.
Outside of Oracle, Ellison has a huge interest in sailing and America’s Cup. He is the financier of the BMW Oracle racing team, which won the 2010 America’s Cup.
He recently sold his super yacht, Rising Sun, to record executive David Geffen, the founder of Geffen Records, reportedly for US$300m. It’s apparently the eighth-largest yacht in the world.