Flashy Oracle founder's next buy: Hawaiian island

  • In this Oct. 5, 2011 photo, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison speaks during the Oracle OpenWorld Keynote in San Francisco. Ellison has reached a deal to buy 98 percent of the island of Lanai from its current owner, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie said Wednesday, June 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

HONOLULU — The billionaire poised to buy a Hawaiian island is an ostentatious and eclectic man who does everything in a big way.

And those familiar with Larry Ellison say buying an island the middle of the Pacific is right up his alley.

"The possibilities are limitless" for Lanai, home to about 3,200 residents, said Mike Wilson, who wrote the first biography of Ellison, "The Difference Between God and Larry Ellison: (asterisk)God Doesn't Think He's Larry Ellison."

Ellison built Oracle Corp. with $1,200 in 1977 and is the world's sixth richest billionaire. He inked a deal to buy the vast majority of Lanai from fellow billionaire David Murdock, whose company Castle & Cooke Inc. owns 98 percent of the island's 141 square miles.

While Ellison's plans for the island have yet to be revealed, he's likely to do something "epic and grand," Wilson said Thursday.

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