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Billionaire Oracle CEO Ellison buys Hawaiian island

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison speaks at the company's headquarters in Redwood City, California June 6, 2012. Ellison unveiled new cloud and services offerings in a bid to catch up with smaller, faster-growing rivals including Salesforce.com and prevent big competitors including Germany's SAP from getting ahead in the fast-growing area of web-based delivery of computer programs.

ROBERT GALBRAITH/REUTERS

Billionaire Oracle CEO Larry Ellison bought 98 per cent of Hawaii's sixth-largest island, Lanai, the state's governor announced on Wednesday.

Mr. Ellison, ranked in 2012 as America's third-richest man, is purchasing the property from fellow billionaire David Murdock. Murdock's Castle and Cooke Inc, which owns all but 2 per cent of Lanai's 365 square kilometres, filed a transfer application with Hawaii's Public Utilities Commission.

Previous media reports put the price tag at between $500-million and $600-million, but the price was not revealed in Wednesday's filing.

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"It is my understanding that Mr. Ellison has had a long standing interest in Lanai. His passion for nature, particularly the ocean, is well known specifically in the realm of America's Cup sailing," Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie said in a statement. "We look forward to welcoming Mr. Ellison in the near future."

Once known for its pineapple fields, Lanai is now visited for its two Four Seasons resorts, golf courses and luxury housing. Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates booked every hotel room on the island for his 1994 wedding.

In March, Forbes listed Mr. Ellison, 67, as the world's sixth-wealthiest man, with a net worth of $36-billion. A yachting enthusiast, he won the America's Cup in 2010 and brought the 2013 America's Cup Finals to San Francisco.

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