Singapore's Andy Chua snags the right to dine with Warren Buffett with $2.7 million bid

Investor Warren Buffett poses for a portrait during an interview after a luncheon to benefit the Glide Foundation of San Francisco in New York on April 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Investor Warren Buffett poses for a portrait during an interview after a luncheon to benefit the Glide Foundation of San Francisco in New York on April 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK - Singapore's Andy Chua has won the right to dine with the world's third-richest man Warren Buffett, news reports said on Saturday.

Mr Chua won the privilege of a dinner with Mr Buffett, one of the savviest stock investors in the world, with a single bid of US$2,166,766 (S$2.71 million). No other details about Mr Chua were immediately available.

The proceeds will benefit a San Francisco charity.

The Omaha World-Herald reported that Mr Chua and seven guests will get to meet Mr Buffett, the Chief Executive of Berkshire Hathaway, in Manhattan for lunch at Smith & Wollensky, a 10-restaurant chain of steakhouses with small-batch bourbons and deep-polished wood, where a shrimp cocktail goes for about US$20 and the long bone rib-eye close to US$70.

Bidding started last Sunday at US$25,000. By Tuesday, the US$500,000 mark had been reached. The bidding surpassed US$1 million on Wednesday. On Friday evening, there was a flurry of late bids.

Bloomberg News reported that Mr Chua was the 12th and final hopeful to bid with less than 10 minutes to go in the auction on Friday evening.

The winning bid was more than double last year's US$1 million winner, the Omaha World-Herald said.

Bloomberg said the record winning bid during the charity auction's 15 years was in 2012, at about US$3.5 million for a steak lunch with one of the world's richest men and savviest stock-market investors.

The yearly event draws Mr Buffett's admirers because they want to spend time with a historic figure, said Mr Mohnish Pabrai, who was part of 2007's winning group.

"There's a very simple, acceptable way to bribe him to a meal," Mr Pabrai told Bloomberg after the auction concluded on Friday night.

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