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Larry Ellison, co-founder and chairman of Oracle, speaks during the Oracle OpenWorld 2017 conference in San Francisco on Oct. 3, 2017.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison said Tuesday that the company is moving its world headquarters to Nashville, Tennessee, to be closer to a major health-care epicenter.

In a wide-ranging conversation with Bill Frist, a former U.S. Senate Majority Leader, Ellison said Oracle is moving a “huge campus” to Nashville, “which will ultimately be our world headquarters.” He said Nashville is an established health center and a “fabulous place to live,” one that Oracle employees are excited about.

“It’s the center of the industry we’re most concerned about, which is the health-care industry,” Ellison said.

The announcement was seemingly spur-of-the-moment. “I shouldn’t have said that,” Ellison told Frist, a longtime health-care industry veteran who represented Tennessee in the Senate. The pair spoke during a fireside chat at the Oracle Health Summit in Nashville.

Shares of Oracle were mostly flat in extended trading Tuesday.

Oracle moved its headquarters from Silicon Valley to Austin, Texas, in 2020. The company has been making a major push into health care in recent years, most notably with its $28 billion acquisition of the medical records software giant Cerner. Ellison said Tuesday that Oracle is relatively new to the health-care sector, but he believes the company has a “moral obligation” to solve problems facing the industry.

Nashville has been a major player in the health-care scene for decades, and the city is now home to a vibrant network of health systems, startups and investment firms. The city’s reputation as a health-care hub was catalyzed when HCA Healthcare, one of the first for-profit hospital companies in the U.S., was founded there in 1968.

HCA helped attract troves of health-care professionals to Nashville, and other organizations quickly followed suit. Oracle has been developing its new $1.2 billion campus in the city for about three years, according to The Tennessean

“Our people love it here, and we think it’s the center of our future,” Ellison said.

Oracle did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

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