From the Wall Street Journal, no author credited on WSJ page.
January 8, 2007, 2:38 pm
A Boating Deal?
Larry Ellison, the Oracle chief known for his boat fetish, has been has trying for months to unload his super-yacht, Rising Sun. The 454-foot white elephant, which cost more than $250 million to build, is simply too big to dock
at most marinas
. And Ellison has told friends he felt “lost” on board because of its size.
Now an old friend has apparently come along to bail him out. According to people in the yachting world, fellow California
billionaire David Geffen has purchased a part-ownership in Rising Sun. The deal, akin to fractional ownership
, will allow Geffen to use the boat part of the time and pay an equivalent part of the overhead. It’s unclear how much Geffen purchased or what he paid. But a person familiar with the deal said he paid upwards of $125 million for a half-ownership.
Geffen and Ellison couldn’t be reached for comment this morning. Rumors of a deal surfaced last week on Valleywag
. Ellison told Vanity Fair in 2005 that he had considered selling the boat but changed his mind.
“It is absolutely excessive,” he told the magazine. “No question about it. When I was talking about selling her, I’d only spent 10 days with her and I didn’t know then whether it was newness or the scale that was the problem. Turns out, it was the newness. It’s really only the size of a very large house.”
Fractional deals have been part of the yachting world for years. But they rarely work: Both owners usually want the boat during the same periods (December holidays, Easter, August, etc.), and they often bicker over costs.
But brokers say the Geffen-Ellison merger stands a better chance because the two are close friends.
“If the deal is structured well, with a lot of detail, this could work out well for the two of them,” said one broker.