POSTED: Saturday, June 23, 2012 - 5:00pm
UPDATED: Saturday, June 23, 2012 - 5:04pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Larry Ellison, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Oracle Corporation, is buying Lanai, one of Hawaii's main eight islands.
Ellison is the third wealthiest American citizen with an estimated worth of $36.5 billion.
Billionaire David Murdock is selling the island after owning 97 percent of it since 1985.
He's reportedly losing between $18 to 25 million each year on the island.
In addition to his home on Lanai, Murdock will retain the rights to develop a potential wind farm on the remote northwestern part of the island.
"We're pretty high on rumors and pretty low on facts here," said Dorothy Lester, co-pastor at Lanai Union Church. "There are a mixture of feelings among people who are here. There are people who have been waiting for the time when there would be a new owner of the island. There are those who are very anxious because David Murdock is the only person they remember who has been in control."
The island had about 3,500 people last census, but now State Senator Kalani English says the population is down to about 1,900.
According to documents, "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."
The sale price is estimated to be around $600 million.
Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa released the following statement:
"First of all I would just like to say how it has been an honor and a privilege to work with Mr. Murdock. His compassion for the people of Lana`i is to be admired and we wish him well in his future endeavors...In terms of the new buyer we can only say that we look forward to meeting Mr. Ellison and hope that by working together with him and the state that we may be able to do good things for Lana`i and its people."