What do you do when you’re worth $36 billion, want to splash out on something a little indulgent, and another supercar to sit alongside your McLaren F1 just won’t cut it? If you’re Larry Ellison, co-founder and CEO of Oracle, then you buy a 98-percent share in the Hawaiian island Lanai.
The asking price is said to be between $500 and $600 million, which despite being an eye-watering amount, doesn’t really make much of a dent in Ellison’s bank balance. Lanai is the six largest Hawaiian island, and is home to two luxurious Four Seasons resorts (where the picture above was taken) and around 3,200 people.
Ellison has bought his stake in Lanai, which has a dreamy 47 miles of coastline, from fellow rich guy David Murdock, who found himself owning most of the island when he purchased the Castle & Cooke company in the mid 80s.
Despite only being accessible by helicopter or small plane, the island attracts 26,000 visitors each quarter, and it was the location for another particularly rich person’s wedding in 1994, when Bill and Melinda Gates tied the knot at one of the Four Seasons’ hotels.
Mr. Ellison joins a surprisingly long list of people who own their own island getaways, finding himself in the company of, amongst many others, Sir Richard Branson, Johnny Depp, Mel Gibson, Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateshitz and Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway.
The mayor of Lanai told the BBC that he hoped Ellison would “be considerate to the island’s residents,” while Hawaii’s governor said he “looks forward to welcoming Mr Ellison in the near future.”
The BBC’s report also says that the island’s projects — such as the hotels, utilities and businesses — are losing $40 million a year at the moment, so it must be hoped Ellison’s involvement will do something to turn its fortunes around. The transfer of ownership must still be approved, and the first vote is scheduled for June 26.
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