back to article Larry Ellison buys island 1000x bigger than Branson's

Billionaire CEO Larry Ellison has fulfilled the dream of mega-rich folks everywhere: he has just bought his very own island. Lanai island in Hawaii If you like piña colada... Credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority/Pierce M Myers Photography The Oracle chief has snapped up the sixth-largest island in Hawaii, Lanai, in a deal with …


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  1. Dr Who

    On Lanai island, the Sun will now slowly dim and eventually peter out altogether, leaving the formerly loyal and happy islanders in complete darkness forever.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      And any mention of fusion

      brings on the clouds...

    2. ItsNotMe
      IT Angle


      ...but at least he will have somewhere to park the yacht.

      1. Martin Budden Bronze badge

        Re: Maybe...

        He sold that yacht a couple of years ago. Not to me.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Maybe...

          I bought it. It was right knackered inside - got through so much carpet shampoo getting rid of all the bloody dog hair. And it still smells funny.

          And how the hell do you end up with cigarette burns on the toilet seat? I mean, come on.

          1. ItsNotMe

            Re: Maybe...

            That rat bastard! He promised ME the first shot at it. Buggers!!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    You live and learn

    "a businessman whose record of community involvement in medical research and education causes is equally notable"

    I always tended to think of Larry Ellison as very much the antithesis of Google's 'do no evil', oh well that's me wrong on that one then.

    1. dotdavid

      Re: You live and learn

      Hey, they never said his "involvement" was beneficial...

      In Italy the Mafia are notably involved in a lot of things.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You live and learn

      No, you were right the first time. The foundations were set up as part of a settlement with the government for some insider trading Larry did back in the day.

    3. Ru

      Re: "the antithesis of Google's 'do no evil'"

      Sure he is. But that's only because you misunderstood both Ellison and Google's relationship with evil.

      They both enjoy a fair bit of evil (you don't get to make billions in any other way, you know), but Ellison has never tried to pass himself off as anything other than a ruthlessly efficient capitalist. The warm fuzzy image that Google generally tries to project is fundamentaly dishonest.

  3. regorama

    Meanwhile on Branson's island..

    Branson has his island to himself.

    1. Piro

      Re: Meanwhile on Branson's island..

      Yup. That's what I'm thinking. Buying land that's too large gets you too much you can't control.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meanwhile on Branson's island..

      So what you're saying is, you can carpet bomb Branson's place without fear of injuring innocent bystanders? He'd make a terrible evil overlord.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meanwhile on Branson's island..

      Larry needed the 88,000 acres to keep his ego afloat....

    4. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile on Branson's island..

      The thing about islands is that the bigger they get the less islandy they become. I mean I live on an island but since it's an entire continent you'd never know.

      Dammit, I see where this is going. Ellison's ego won't be satisfied until he buys a


  4. TeeCee Gold badge

    Look out Lanai!

    "...looking forward to partnering with the people of Lanai to chart the island's future,"

    Just out of interest, when you're made redundant from your position as "person of an island", what happens next?

  5. Mike Wilson

    Vulcano, submarine dock etc

    Well, Ellison looks much more like a Bond villain than Branson, so it's only right he has the larger island.

    1. Annihilator Silver badge

      Re: Vulcano, submarine dock etc

      "Well, Ellison looks much more like a Bond villain than Branson, so it's only right he has the larger island."

      Yes but Branson looks very much like Hank Scorpio

      "Homer, what's your least favourite country, Italy or France?"


      <moves giant laser>"heh heh, no-one ever says Italy.."

  6. JDX Gold badge


    That seems like peanuts for such a big property.

    Will the locals' taxes go to him - how does it work if you own an island with people on it?

    1. b0llchit Silver badge

      Re: $500m

      He needed the Google fine awarded to supplement the deal. Otherwise he could not afford it, at all.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: $500m

      > Will the locals' taxes go to him - how does it work if you own an island with people on it?

      Will you need to buy a support contract to get your bins emptied?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: $500m

        The locals won't just require a support contract, you can bet your life there'll some funky-arsed way of calculating the cost. Number of adults x number of kids + number of spanners in a sit-chrome toolkit etc.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: $500m

      "how does it work if you own an island with people on it?"

      Ask Prince Charles (I forget his other bullshit titles), he still owns lots of serfs in Cornwall and Devon.

    4. Ru

      Re: "Will the locals' taxes go to him"

      If he owns the land, he can presumably collect rent from its occupants (except those with freeholds or some sort of existing lease arrangement which precludes that sort of thing). Technically it isn't tax, but the end result looks much the same to the people who have to pay it.

    5. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: $500m

      "Will the locals' taxes go to him?" Why should it? After all, if I own an apartment block and the land that it's built on, they still pay their taxes to the government, not to me. The people living there would pay rent to him (I guess for examples teh hotels would have some sort of lease payment that would go to him), but any state taxes would still go to Hawaii and federal taxes to Uncle Sam.

      On the topic of selling islands though... I think the Greeks are missing a trick, they could sell a hundred or so of their thousands of mostly uninhabited or sparsely inhabited islands to bring their debt down a bit

      1. John Savard Silver badge

        Re: $500m

        The trouble is that too many of them are just off the coast... of Turkey.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: $500m

      > Will the locals' taxes go to him - how does it work if you own an island with people on it?

      That's just what he needs: "All hail Lord Ellison!" (saluted by turning around and dropping trousers).

  7. Anthony Hulse

    I've seen this show...

    Do you think he'll bring in polar bears and creepy science guys?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've seen this show...

      Don't know about the bears but there have been reports of experiments at a remote lab in the jungle and talk among the locals of the dead rising once again. (They have also found a dead shark with human bite marks on it).

    2. James Micallef Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: I've seen this show...

      And have Branson's flying toys mysteriously fall out of the sky and onto the island?

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  9. Mike Richards Silver badge


    Larry's got an extinct volcano to call his own. Has anyone checked if any of our nuclear submarines have gone missing?

  10. Don Jefe

    Does he own the people too?

    1. Euripides Pants

      He doesn't own people, he owns *minions*.

  11. ukgnome

    Owning an island is so last century

    What you actually want is one of these

    "Measuring 100m in length and breadth, and spanning over 11 luxed-out decks, there is enough room on Project Utopia to create an entire micro-nation. It’s ideal for ocean-going megalomaniacs bent on world domination. And you needn’t worry about puking on your Nehru jacket because this floating behemoth is designed for minimum motion, even in the most extreme sea conditions"

    1. You have not yet created a handle
      Thumb Up

      Re: Owning an island is so last century

      8% Quidco cash back too - that's the deal breaker! ;-)

  12. vic 4

    sixth-largest island

    if only oracle won against google, he could have afforded something a bit bigger

    1. dotdavid
      Thumb Up

      Re: sixth-largest island

      "Australia is an island, right?"

      "No sir, it's a continent"

      "Tomayto, tomarto"

      1. Joe User

        Re: sixth-largest island

        If you want to look at it from that angle, then all of the continents are islands.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Voting time

    Forget the islands, which one has the dodgiest facial topiary?

    <-- Private black helicopter. Every billionaire private island needs one.

  14. Andy Miller

    Real Units

    I make that 1/57 of Wales or about 51,000 football pitches.

  15. Karirunc


    Well done Larry! Feel happy for you, and hope you enjoy it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Congratulations

      Careful! your tongue might get stuck in that position.

  16. Ye Gads

    In other news

    Larry Ellison has also bought himself a white cat and several sharks (for performance review purposes).

  17. Sir Lancelot

    Who needs a sub when you have a jet

    It has an airport as well. The single Google Maps review describes the customer service at the airport as "Horrible".

  18. Wunderbar1

    Larry thinks big...

    you have to give him that. He has never been one for half measures.

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  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Business opportunities here...

    ...for manufacturers of pastel-coloured jumpsuits as worn by legions of disposable henchmen, jeeps with frame-mounted squad weapons, said henchmen for the use of, etc, etc. And don't forget the fricking lasers for shark-mounting.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now he's just got to get it like he wants it.

    So at great expense, with many experts holding large amounts of knowledge of it, who know all the little intracacies of this massive and overcomplicated ecosystem, and charge a fortune, will fix the problems, and get it all as it is wanted, and no doubt there will be ridiculously overpriced links to the outside world, as extras, not to mention having to pay a fortune for extra ways of touring its features.

    But enough about oricle (tm).

  22. jubtastic1

    A volcanic Island?

    How Dr No, real super villains build their lairs in space, bet Larry gets the chair over the airlock at the next MUSK INDUSTRIES DomCom Summit.

  23. John Stirling

    The State of Oracle

    You're missing the big picture - Hawaii and any of it's component islands have the constitutionally protected right to secede from the US by way of a referendum where more than 80% of the population vote for it. Wait a while while Larry gets the islanders onside then watch him declare independence, and move Oracle there as the first pure corporate state...

    Ok, I am completely making all that up - but how cool (and scary) would it be?

    1. wowfood

      Re: The State of Oracle

      maybe not just oracle. If they get Microsoft to buy an island there, google, a few other massive firms who can afford it. You can't have a corperate state run by just one corperation.

    2. Joe User

      Re: The State of Oracle

      Welcome to "Larrymania".

  24. i like crisps
    Thumb Up

    Thunderbirds Are Go!

    Billionaire...Private Island....Volcano...

    Maybe Mr Ellison is finally going to get to live out

    his Jeff Tracy fantasy?

    1. Robert Halloran

      Re: Thunderbirds Are Go!

      I think it's more likely we'll see a run on Nehru jackets, monocles and fluffy white cats.....

  25. Captain Scarlet Silver badge


    I always thought Apple would go out and buy itself an island before Oracle (Well ok not technically Oracle)

  26. TheOtherHobbes

    I for one

    have no plans to welcome our new feudal overlords.

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: I for one


      As an aside, did you see some canuk dumped their boat on front street, we just got rid of the last one. At least it proves canuks can tip something right!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Governor's last laugh

    Maybe Ellison though he had perpetual rights to the island, but the small print says that he is liable to a 24% annual support fee, payable to the state.

  28. Tom Reg

    $6500 per acre sounds good to me

    Ok most of those acres are 'useless woods', but there has to be a lot of shorefront.

    I can't see selling this for less than 3 billion in a decade, when the Chinese are looking for bigger things to buy.

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: $6500 per acre sounds good to me

      They are useless as a commercial interest. They are useful as environmental preserves and hunting ranges.

      There is a considerable amount of shorefront, but Lana'i lacks a lot of infrastructure. Outside of the harbor \ airport and town there is very limited amounts of real road. Much of it is dirt track. Developing the island would be extremely expensive but is possible. It is however extremely culturally sensitive. Developers (like the current windfarm plan) tend to make reasoned decisions, then screw up the details. A windfarm is not insane, putting it in the middle of a garden of the gods is. So much of Hawai'i is over developed, only Ni'ihau (which is offlimits to none kanaka maoli), Kaho'olawe (uninhabitable due to extensive bombing), Moloka'i and Lana'i really remain as sanctuaries.

  29. Rob Moir


    Ellison's transformation into a real life version of a James Bond bad guy continues.

  30. samlebon23

    I am going to buy Madagascar. And I am going to have a meeting with king Julien and discuss the future of the island.

  31. Wind Farmer
    Black Helicopters

    Just about big enough for his ego

    You missed your own link to the previous Gates investment:

    Hope Larry retires soon and doesn't bother anyone, but no doubt he'll downsize the island's population, in his typical acquisition mode.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    In other news, local sharks migrating from Lanai waters in responst to new neighbors!!

    I expect that Larry will soon be sitting in one of these on the veranda of his new spread....maybe with some piled up human skulls to complete the mood :)

    1. J__M__M

      Re: In other news, local sharks migrating from Lanai waters in responst to new neighbors!!

      maybe with some piled up human skulls to complete the mood :)

      But not just any human skulls.... because for Larry, only the skulls of HP executives and board members will do.

  33. Cameron Colley

    Bloody hell.

    I was about to suggest that Tristan da Cunha is a more villainous-hideout shape and Deception island has a better name, but looking at Lanai it looks like the real-deal!

    Perhaps his meddlesome nemesis will be Dog The Bounty Hunter.

  34. Rampant Spaniel

    We are not looking forward to this :( Lanai is a beautiful, largely unspoilt paradise with a rich cultural heritage. Now apparently some haole wishes to build a wind farm in the garden of the gods. The only reason this vulture wants the island is to make more money. His only care for culture is how much profit it can make.

    How many more iwi will be disinterred to make way for hotels, condos etc. Honestly, consider for a second if I acquired your local church, dug up your kupuna and built a casino on it? How would you feel if your culture was disnified and parodied for tourists. You sacred sites and ancestors desecrated in the name of 'progress'. Lanai had hoped for a benevolent owner.

    Visitors come here and they go away thinking Hawai'i is about pineapples, protea and pumeria. All entirely introduced by haole post contact. Hawaiians are doing their best to care for their culture, land and sea after generations of assault on all three.

  35. Jason Tan

    Sir Richard I declare thee Pwn3d!

    Larry wins.

    1. Magnus_Pym

      Re: Sir Richard I declare thee Pwn3d!

      I'll reserve judgement on that until I see what he's going to do with it. No scratch that I'll reserve judgement until I see how badly he is going to screw it for a quick buck.

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Remember cpt cook!

        Mess with the kanaka maoli and they take your mana :-)

        I think the state missed a great oppertunity here to obtain the land and lease it for farming purposes. But instead we get a multi billion dollar metro system and expanded roads if there is a golf course at the end of them.

        Given the price of food here, I cannot see how farming wouldn't make money on Lana'i. I know geothermal power is contraversial because of Pele (not the footballer) but it should be considered before windfarms.

        You have to go for a walk on Lana'i before sunset, wander down dirt track roads and through unspoilt forrests to truly appreciate how valuable it is to have land that doesn't have a costco and maccy dees every 20 yards. Now if Larry gets rid of the concrete ship wreck I might give him a chance.

  36. Magnus_Pym

    Head office move?

    I wonder if the registered head office of Oracle will be moving to a small Hawaiian Island known for it's lax laws on what ever Larry wants them to be lax on.

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  38. sabba
    Big Brother

    Apparently the rumours that he will rename he island... Mordor are untrue!!

  39. mhenriday
    Thumb Down

    Things have been going badly in Hawaii

    ever since the US invaded and deposed Queen Liliʻuokalani back in 1893 (since then, this business of deposing foreign governments and installing puppets seems to have become habitual). Mr Ellison's purchase of the sixth largest island is merely the latest indignity these beautiful islands have suffered. But no doubt, Mr Abercrombie does indeed «look forward to welcoming him»....


  40. MrZoolook
    Paris Hilton

    Big deal

    After all, the guy running the RIAA has bought North America, and is fast purchasing the rest of the planet.

    Paris because... who hasn't bought her, or at least hired?

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