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Larry Ellison gets interim approval from PUC to buy Lanai

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 2:38 p.m. HST, Jun 25, 2012

The Public Utilities Commission today approved the transfer of three regulated utilities on Lanai from Castle & Cooke to a company controlled by billionaire Larry Ellison, clearing the way for the sale of the island to close on Wednesday.

The PUC commissioners said that despite several deficiencies in Castle & Cooke's application they were approving the transfer on an interim basis "so as to not jeopardize the June 27, 2012, closing date for the overall purchase and sale transaction."

The commissioners said they retained the right to disapprove at a later date the transfer and sale of the three public utilities, a water company, a sewer company and a transportation firm.

“The Commission intends to thoroughly review the current and future operations of Manele Water Resources LLC, Lanai Water Co. LLC and Lanai Transportation Co. prior to the issuance of its final decision,” according to the PUC ruling. “A statement of issues which outlines what the commission will consider in its investigation is forthcoming.” 

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