By Sonia Isotov
News publications throughout the state are reporting that there is a potential buyer for the island of Lanai.
The Pacific Business News today said that they were told by Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa that word of a sale could come as early as in a week. Arakawa has been talking with representatives from Castle & Cooke Hawaii Inc. and said that a potential buyer had been identified, however, no name was given.
Rumors are that two potential buyers could be billionaire Larry Ellison, chief executive officer of Oracle Corporation or even Microsoft’s Bill Gates.
At last report, billionaire-owner David Murdock had put the island up for sale for as much as $500 million, and today The Maui News is reporting it could go as high as $600 million.
Mayor Alan Arakawa told the Maui News that he is concerned about the sale and how it will affect the residents. He recalled how more than 100 residents had lost their jobs four years ago on Molokai when Molokai Ranch was sold and he hoped there would not be a repeat on Lanai.