What does the billionaire who has everything buy for himself?
Why, an Hawaiian island, of course.
State officials say Oracle (ORCL) founder and CEO Larry Ellison has signed an agreement to scoop up 98 percent of Lanai for an undisclosed price. The seller, fellow billionaire David Murdock, is parting with two resort hotels, two championship golf courses, and more than 88,000 acres of land, according to documents filed with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.
According to news reports, Ellison,
whose wealth is tagged at $36.4 billion by Bloomberg News, has had his eyes on Hawaii's sixth-largest island for some time. Oracle did not respond to a request for comment, but the Aloha State's rumor mill has been running on overdrive with speculation that either Ellison or Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates might try to grab the tropical gem, where Ellison has a home.
"His passion for nature, particularly the ocean, is well-known specifically in the realm of America's Cup sailing," Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie said in a statement. "He is also a businessman whose record of community involvement in medical research and education causes is equally notable."
Lanai is Hawaii's smallest publicly accessible inhabited island, with some
3,200 residents. It is known as the "pineapple island" even though its pineapple operations were shut down in recent years to make way for luxury resort and home development.
The island boasts unspoiled charm with 30 miles of paved roads, 400 miles of unpaved roads and no traffic lights. While the selling price was not revealed, The Maui News previously reported that the asking price was between $500 million and $600 million.
Lanai is simply the latest catch for a guy who, according to a Wall Street Journal article last year, qualifies as "one of the nation's most voracious consumers of trophy real estate." The Journal said Ellison has coughed up hundreds of millions of dollars on various properties over the years, including a 249-acre estate in Rancho Mirage, several beachfront properties in Malibu and a historic garden property in Kyoto, Japan.
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