Maui News

Lāna‘i Sale Complete, Castle & Cooke Retains Wind Farm

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By Wendy Osher

The former site of Club Lanai is no longer over grown as Ellison readies it for his new eco-friendly bungalow hotel. Photo courtesy of Jeanne Cooper/SFGate.

The former site of Club Lanai is no longer over grown as Ellison readies it for his new eco-friendly bungalow hotel. Photo courtesy of Jeanne Cooper/SFGate.

Castle & Cooke announced today the completion of sale of its Lāna‘i assets by David Murdock to Lawrence J. Ellison to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.

The announcement was made by David H. Murdock of Castle & Cooke, Inc., who said, “It is very gratifying to me personally to see Lāna‘i now in the hands of Larry Ellison, a very committed individual who will bring his ideas and energy to sustain the beauty and heritage of Lāna‘i.”

“I extend my sincerest thanks to the many employees, their families, business associates, state and county leaders and administrators who have supported my efforts and changes on Lāna‘i,” said Murdock in a statement today.


Murdock called his time on Lanai “enjoyable and inspiring,” saying, “I have devoted 28 years in shepherding Lāna‘i’s transformation into a world-class tropical paradise … exotic flowers, magnificent orchids, and thousands of other flowering plants, all complementing years of exquisite landscaping well integrated with its natural beauty. I am keeping my private home on the island and taking pleasure with other Lāna‘i residents in the warm breezes of the trade winds,” he said.

Lāna‘i has a circumference in excess of 50 miles and a small population of approximately 3,000.  According to county records, it is estimated that there is a total of 88,900 acres on Lana`i, of which Castle & Cooke had owned 87,700 acres.

Larry Ellison. Photo courtesy of Oracle Corporation.

Larry Ellison. Photo courtesy of Oracle Corporation.

It is home to two Four Seasons hotels, each with a championship golf course.  The combined resort holdings for land and improvements is valued at $95,032,100.


While the sale price was not disclosed, the assessed value of Castle & Cooke holdings on the island was placed at $325,004,500.  The assessed value of private and government holdings was placed at $297,533,500.

Castle & Cooke Hawai‘i has retained the wind farm project on Lāna‘i, saying it complements the company’s abundant renewable energy resources saying it will, “provide for the present and future power needs of Hawai‘i.”

David Murdock continues Castle & Cooke’s operations and land holdings elsewhere in Hawai‘i, including the construction of new residential communities, commercial developments, aviation facilities, retail and leasing activities and agriculture projects.


“We’ve had initial discussions with Mr. Ellison’s representatives and we intend to have an in-depth meeting after the transaction clears,” said Mayor Arakawa. “We think he will be a positive influence on Lāna‘i and we will work with him to achieve a better future.”

Senator J. Kalani English whose district includes the island of Lāna‘i today said he is looking forward to working with the new owner, and working together towards ensuring that the island of Lāna‘i is a healthy and vibrant place.

“The island of Lanai holds a very special and vital role in our state’s cultural, environmental and economic ecosystem,” said English.  “I am excited to work with the new ownership to help build a better and more prosperous Lāna‘i.”


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