Los Angeles billionaire David Murdoc is trying to sell his private island of Lanai, and already has a potential buyer. The island is part of Hawaii (It’s the sixth largest Island in Hawaii to be more specific), but only 2% of it is actually owned by the state. David Murdoc took control of the 140 square mile island as a part of his purchase of Castle & Cooke in 1985.
So far, Castle and Cooke has told both the Mayor of Maui, Alan Arakawa, and the Governor of Hawaii that they are already in discussions for the sale of the island, which has lead to a lot of speculation as to who the billionaire could be. In an interview with Pacific Business News Arakawa told them what he knows: “At this point, there seems to be a serious inquiry, [but] the due diligence must be done — a lot of paperwork must be satisfied,” he said.
Bill Gates held his marriage ceremony and honeymoon on the island with wife Melinda in 1994. They rented the whole island for the occasion. Larry Ellison, co-founder and CEO of Oracle, has a home on the island. Right now both are the likely candidates, because both have the funds and both have personal connections to the island. The exact price has not been disclosed, but experts say it will probably list in the neighborhood of $500,000,000 or more.
Right now, Castle and Cooke Hawaii Inc. has said that someone is interested in purchasing the island but failed to name any names. Hawaii’s Governor, Neil Abercormbie, has confirmed that he sat down with Castle and Cooke and they told him the same thing. They are in discussions with a buyer, but don’t want to reveal his name. Gates and Ellison are just rumors right now, but they seem like likely candidates.
Expect an announcement on the buyer within a week.