Larry Ellison, the CEO for Oracle Corp., is closing in on a deal for 98 percent of Hawaii’s pineapple island, Lanai. Ellison has not announced his plans for the island’s 141 square miles, but the sellers said that Ellison is planning substantial investments that will create jobs and stimulate tourism to the island. The island used to be owned by the founder of Dole Foods Co. back in the 1920s. The island features 50 miles of coast, two resorts, zero traffic lights and much more. Ellison, according to Forbes, is the world’s sixth-richest billionaire. There are 3,200 residents living on the island, which is near Maui.
The current owner of the land, Castle & Cooke Inc., filed a transfer application on Wednesday with the public utilities commission of Hawaii. It was not announced what the sale price of the property would be or what Ellison offered for it. It had been previously reported that the sale price ranged from $500 million to $600 million.
David Murdock, the owner of Castle & Cooke, is a self-made billionaire. He said that he will keep his home on the island of Lanai and his right to build a wind farm. The wind farm will put windmills on 20 square miles of the island and provide power to Oahu through a cable under the water. Murdock said that selling Lanai was not a decision he made overnight and that he was looking for someone who would respect the residents of the island.
‘‘I have learned in life that change is inevitable and can be quite positive when guided in the right direction,’’ Murdock said.
In 1977, Ellison co-founded a software company based in Redwood City, California. He is ranked by Forbes as the third-richest American, with a net worth of $36 billion as of March.
‘‘We look forward to welcoming Mr. Ellison in the near future,’’ Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie said. ‘‘His passion for nature, particularly the ocean, is well known specifically in the realm of America’s Cup sailing.’’
Alan Arakawa, the Maui County Mayor, wished Murdock well in his endeavors and said that he is looking forward to meeting Ellison. There will be 88,000 acres of land in the deal along with two resorts, a stable, two golf courses and multiple commercial and residential buildings. Ellison is planning to pay for the island in cash and the deal will create new jobs, an improved tourism industry and economic stimulus.
‘‘The buyer anticipates making substantial investments in Lanai and is looking forward to partnering with the people of Lanai to chart the island’s future,’’ Castle & Cooke lawyers said in the application.