Buffett Watch

New clues on Warren Buffett's mysterious lunch date


We now know a little bit more about the man who is paying almost $2.2 million to have lunch with Warren Buffett, but not much more.

When the online charity auction ended Friday night, the winning bidder was identified only as Andy Chua of Singapore.

CNBC staffers stationed in that country didn't recognize the name. Online searches didn't turn up anything on someone who might be expected to pay such a large amount of money for a meal with Buffett. It was all somewhat mysterious.

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Today we received a "personal statement" from Chua, "collated" by a man who calls himself Chua's "buddy" over the past 20 years:

Andy has long treasured his privacy and does his investing in the strictest concealment. He has long respected the legendary Warren Buffett and has been a keen follower of Buffett's investment philosophies, for the past 20 years.

Warren Buffett

The statement said Chua has never met Buffett, but he "will always be grateful" for sharing "philosophies (that) have been instrumental to getting him through several recessions and he is grateful that he has come out triumphant."

Chua wants to personally thank Buffett and is happy to support San Francisco's Glide Foundation, the regular beneficiary of the annual lunch auction.

Chua's friend said he was "with Andy onboard his yacht out at sea" during the bidding:

This is very much his style. Andy enjoys working from his yacht away from the madding crowd where many a significant investment decision was made. Winning the bid was another significant milestone. As usual Andy was comfortably dressed in shorts & T-shirt when he won the bid surrounded by family & buddies. That's just Andy.

Chua's friend added, "Now that Andy has invited me to join him to lunch with Buffett, I'll have to shop for a suit."

He thanks the media for "their patience in granting this privacy that we had requested."

The statement provides no additional information, but Channel NewsAsia, an English-language TV news channel based in Singapore, said Chua is the chairman of AMES United, a company with 1,600 employees and more than 100 beauty and grooming outlets in Singapore, Malaysia and Shanghai.

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The company's website said it started in 1984 as Yun Nam Hair Care, a "modest one-stop business ... providing hair treatment solutions to battle hair loss and other hair problems."

Chua's name does not appear to be mentioned anywhere on the site.

By CNBC's Alex Crippen. Follow him on Twitter: @alexcrippen