Oracle's Larry Ellison buys private Hawaii island for $636 million

Pineapple plantations, hotels a wind farm and 3200 Hawaiians will come under the billionaire's domain.

The Maui News reports that Oracle founder Larry Ellison has bought an island in Hawaii for between $US500 and $US600 million ($NZ636 and $NZ763 million).

The 365 square kilometer Lanai - Hawaii's sixth largest island - is currently owned by billionaire David Murdock (whose situation as a seller vaguely mirrors that of George Clooney in the recent Hollywood movie The Descendants).

But a deal is likely to be signed by the end of the week, handing control to Mr Ellison, according to Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie.

Lanai has a population of 3200 and is best known for its pineapple plantations.

Mr Murdock's company, Castle & Cooke, owns 98% of Lanai, and is the island's primary employer through the hotels, golf courses, water utilities and other businesses under its control.

Castle & Cooke is losing as much as $US40 million a year, according to local media.

The company recently gained approval to build a wind farm over 52 square kilometres of Lanai. It planned to export power to the larger island of Oahu through an undersea cable.

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Mr Ellison (67) is the CEO and founder of US-based multinational software company Oracle, one of the contenders to land the $1 billion contract to rebuild IRD's systems.

He is rated sixth on Forbes' global billionaire's list, with an estimated worth of $36 billion.

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