Page last updated at 09:17 GMT, Monday, 30 June 2008 10:17 UK

Bill for Buffett lunch hits $2m

Warren Buffett throws the first pitch at a recent Texas Rangers baseball game
Warren Buffett is known for keeping his eye firmly on the ball

A Chinese businessman has won the right to have lunch with Warren Buffett after bidding $2.1m (1m) for the privilege of dining with the legendary investor.

The proceeds of the lunch at the Smith and Wollensky steakhouse in New York will go to a non-profit foundation which fights poverty and homelessness.

Zhao Danyang topped the bids after an auction on the eBay website.

Mr Buffett has raised $4m in charitable donations by selling annual dinner invitations since 2000.

'Sage'

Mr Buffett's appeal shows no sign of waning since this year's successful bid is more than three times as high as the $650,100 sum paid by Mohnish Pabrai last year.

Known as the Sage of Omaha for his shrewd business acumen and ability to spot winning investment opportunities, Mr Buffett is one of the world's richest men.

Investors travel thousands of miles to attend the annual meeting of his Berkshire Hathaway company, where Mr Buffett holds forth on his investment philosophy and market trends.

Mr Buffett recently emerged as a key figure in the planned merger of iconic US businesses Mars and Wrigley and will take a stake in the business after the deal is completed.

He has agreed to leave the bulk of his fortune to the charitable foundation set up by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda.




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