The sale of Hawaii's smallest publicly accessible inhabited island is imminent, and local leaders are anticipating what new ownership could mean for the island's some 3,200 residents.
A potential buyer of Lanai , part of Maui County, was revealed to Gov. Neil Abercrombie and the county's mayor at a meeting last week with representatives from landowner Castle & Cooke Inc. Self-made billionaire David Murdock's Castle & Cooke owns 98 percent of island's 141 square miles.
"I was told they're in serious negotiations," Mayor Alan Arakawa told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "There's a possibility Lanai may be sold in a week or so."
He said he's sworn to secrecy about the buyer's identity. But any buyer would have to have deep pockets. The asking price is reportedly between $500 million and $600 million, the Maui News reported. Castle & Cooke did not immediately comment Tuesday.
In 2000, Murdock bought out fellow Castle & Cooke shareholders for nearly $700 million and took the company private.
The island is still known as the "pineapple island," even though Murdock has closed its pineapple operations to make way for luxury resort and home development. The island boasts unspoiled charm with 30 miles of paved roads, 400 miles of unpaved roads and no stoplights.Page 1 of 2 | Next Page