Landowner Castle & Cooke has filed a transfer application with the Public Utilities Commission to sell its share of Lanai to Oracle Corporation co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison, according to a release by the governor's office.
Click here to see the PUC application.
Oracle is the world's largest business software company. Ellison founded Oracle in 1977. The 67-year-old businessman has a net worth of $33 billion dollars and is the third richest man in America, according to Forbes Magazine.
Castle & Cooke owns 98 percent of Lanai's 141 square miles.
The owner of Castle & Cooke, David H. Murdock, responded to Wednesday's announcement saying, "For more than a quarter of a century, I have been the major owner of the private island of Lanai and have enjoyed being a part of the island community as it progressed through numerous social and economic changes."
Murdock continued, "Lanai has been my passion for years and I have made
huge investments of money, time and energy for the betterment of the island economy and its residents. I built my island home there and will continue to remain a homeowner of Lanai."
"Exploring the possibility of new ownership of my Lanai holdings was not a new idea or an impulsive decision. The right time and the right buyer have been key components in my decision making process," said Murdock. "Paramount to this process was to ensure that a new owner would have the right enthusiasm, commitment and respect for the island and its people, and be a positive part of the island community in the years to come. I believe that Larry Ellison will bring a new and fresh perspective to the island and its people."
Murdock will retain the rights to develop a potential wind farm on the remote northwestern part of Lanai.
"It is my understanding that Mr. Ellison has had a long standing interest in Lanai," said Gov. Neil Abercrombie. "His passion for nature, particularly the ocean is well known specifically in the realm of America’s Cup sailing. He is also a businessman whose record of community involvement in medical research and education causes is equally notable. We look forward to welcoming Mr. Ellison in the near future."
Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa commented on the sale by saying it was an honor and a privilege to work with Murdock.
"His compassion for the people of Lanai is to be admired and we wish him well in his future endeavors," said Arakawa. "In terms of the new buyer we can only say that we look forward to meeting Mr. Larry Ellison and hope that by working together with him and the state that we may be able to do good things for Lanai and its people."