By Dow Jones Business News, February 27, 2013, 05:58:00 PM EDT
(Updates with details of Island Air financial results.)
By Saabira Chaudhuri
Oracle Corp.'s ( ORCL ) billionaire Chief Executive Larry Ellison has bought Hawaii airline Island Air as he aims to
improve transportation to the region after his purchase of a Hawaiian island last year.
Mr. Ellison agreed last year to buy the bulk of Lanai, which is nine miles off the coast of Maui, and is the smallest
inhabited island in Hawaii that is publicly accessible. The Maui News at the time reported the asking price for the
property was between $500 million and $600 million.
"This is another major investment and commitment to Hawaii," Paul Marinelli, vice president of Lawrence Investments
LLC said of the airline purchase. "We understand the critical importance of transportation in an island state and we
will ensure that Island Air strengthens its role, capacity and service to the people of Hawaii."
Island Air said there are no planned staff changes. The airline will continue its operations as usual while developing
plans for additional planes, routes and services. All current tickets will be honored and all Cloud9 members will retain
their status and benefits.
In 2009, the latest year for which data are available, Island Air was generating about $24 million in revenue
annually, according to the company's quarterly filings with the U.S. Department of Transportation. In the third quarter
of 2009, the carrier posted passenger revenue of $7.9 million, a 26% decline from the prior year. It posted a net loss
of $168,000, compared to a profit of $600,000 the prior year. The transportation department reports revenue and net
income from scheduled service for all air carriers, but it doesn't release details of assets and liabilities.
Lawrence Investments didn't disclose the purchase price for Island Air.
Mr. Ellison, one of the richest people in the U.S., has bankrolled a sailing team--which won the most-recent America's
Cup with a giant trimaran--and has led an effort to bring that event to San Francisco in 2013.
Mr. Ellison owns several opulent houses, including a traditional Japanese-style estate in Woodside, Calif., and is
known for purchases that include a yacht large enough for a basketball court, a fighter jet and a tennis tournament.
More recently he has sought to buy a professional basketball team.
--Steven D. Jones, Don Clark and Ben Worthen contributed to this article.
Write to Saabira Chaudhuri at
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