Mystery Malaysian Electrifies NYC Club Scene

When a retinue of waiters hoisting champagne and sparklers parted the crowd at the Angel Ball after-party at 1Oak — and the deejay intoned, “23 bottles of Cristal for Lindsay Lohan’s 23rd birthday” — the starlet looked startled.

A half-hour later, 23 more bottles were paraded around. When someone congratulated her, Lohan laughed, “I don’t know why they are doing this. My birthday is July 2nd.”

It was unclear who sprang for the bubbly, but suspicion fell on the mysterious Malaysian who earlier at the ball bid $100,000 for Lorraine Schwartz diamond earrings and a Birkin bag.

This brief item in the New York Post a couple of weeks ago may not have elicited much attention, but it was the first ripple in the pond announcing the presence of a new clubland kingpin.

The Post dutifully followed up, sending two reporters to sleuth out the scoop on this Malaysian mystery man. Now the NYC gossip blogs have followed suit, and everyone in town is talking about the curious spending spree of heretofore-unknown Taek Jho Low.

Now J-Low’s legend is spreading fast.

He’s never without a bodyguard! Jamie Foxx gave him a red sports car for his birthday! He pays Megan Fox to hang out with him in Vegas! A fleet of Escalades are constantly idling outside his Manhattan apartment building!

For a guy who looks a lot like Hiro from Heroes, J-Low is outpimping everyone in sight.

Here is the introduction to the the follow-up Post story that put the question on everyone’s lips: “Who the hell is Taek Jho Low?”

A fleet of black Cadillac Escalades hums outside Chelsea hot spot Avenue — the A-list watering hole of such celebrities as Justin Timberlake and Lindsay Lohan.

As the car doors open, a dozen men emerge and a bouncer whisks them over the club’s threshold, past a group of shivering models behind the velvet rope.

“Who is it?” one of them wonders out loud. “Is it P. Diddy?”

But the man at the center of the entourage isn’t a celebrity. He isn’t even a mogul. He’s Taek Jho Low, a 20-something Wharton grad from Malaysia who has burned through hundreds of thousands of dollars at the city’s hottest nightspots in the last three months — and shows no signs of stopping.

The nightlife scene is abuzz with tales of this international man of mystery — who goes by the name Jho Low and whose chubby, bespectacled appearance hardly meets the image of a wealthy gadabout.

Here are some highlights from Jho Low’s rampage through the NYC party scene:

  • He routinely blows $50,000 on nights out at Pink Elephant, and once took off with eight waitresses after closing time so they could party in Malaysia.
  • He dwells in a $100,000/month pad in the Park Imperial, and also pays the tab for two other apartments for his security detail, totaling an additional $50,000/month.
  • He recently spent $300,000 on six private club memberships in Midtown.
  • He’s known to fork out cash just to get entertainment stars to party with him, like the time he flew Megan Fox to Vegas.

In a recap of the Post story on Gawker, Ravi Somaiya quipped, “The report said that no-one knows how Taek Jho Low, a 20-something Wharton grad, has so much money. Reliable sources say that despite his cuddly appearance, he is actually quite a dangerous character. More when I get it/do not fear death.”

Somaiya also made reference to supermarket magnate Ron Burkle supposedly shelling out cash to see Paris Hilton hit it with another lady, and implied that that’s the kind of thing that goes down when rich dudes start flying starlets around to “party.”

I can’t imagine Fox submitting herself to Jennifer-Connelly-in-Requiem-for-a-Dream treatment, but then again, maybe it’s just the next step down the dark alley that begins with washing Michael Bay’s Ferrari.

The Post ran another follow-up item today that described J-Low’s birthday party in Vegas.

It’s absolutely awesome:

Low just celebrated his 28th birthday in Las Vegas, a four-day affair that started out last Wednesday at Caesars Palace, where sources said the swimming pool was stocked with bikini-clad party girls and surrounded by caged lions and tigers.

The baby-faced, bespectacled Wharton Business School grad — who is often mistaken for Chance Yeh, a photographer who shoots for the Patrick McMullan Agency — was flown out by Caesars with his entourage on what was described as “a jumbo jet.”

The party continued at a nightclub where Low is said to have bought 120 bottles of Cristal. Among the celebs who partied with him were Paris Hilton, Usher and Jamie Foxx, who gifted the birthday boy with a red sports car.

Again, nobody has any idea where this guy came from, or where his money is coming from.

While he graduated from the prestigious Wharton School of Business, a “stock picks” article he published while studying there indicates he is less than a genius:

Stock Picks
Enron boasts top growth
Taek Jho Low, WH ’04
Issue date: 11/6/00 Section: Undergraduate

Traditionally considered a natural gas pipeline company, Enron’s core business is now the management of price risk in fast-growing and deregulating commodity markets. The risk merchant franchise accounts for 75 percent of operating income and is growing at a 30 percent–40 percent annual rate. The company has the No. 1 market share in the relatively mature $80 billion U.S. natural gas market, is No. 1 in the $235 billion U.S. electricity market, opened in 1996 and rapidly growing. And it is a leader in related energy commodities, such as coal, pollution emissions, and weather hedges. Enron also has first-mover advantage in the $270 billion European market, opened in February 1999, where it is already profitable and has seen volume grow tenfold. Enron grows by expanding into new geographies and new commodities. It also successfully uses new tools; for example, I expect Enron will solidify its market position using the Internet.

Deregulation of commodity markets creates price volatility, which must be managed. Enron has successfully done this in gas and now power on a global basis. Seventy-five percent of the growth opportunity is ahead of Enron — in energy alone, an $800 billion global market opportunity.

The value of the bandwidth commodity market will be determined in 2000/2001. The ultimate potential of this market, with significantly greater “top-line” growth than energy, could exceed the energy commodity market by 2005. Enron is a leader targeting the bandwidth commodity opportunity.

Enron is also a first mover into new commodities and geographies with its risk merchant strategy. As a result, it earns the highest margins, about three times those of its nearest competitor.

My 12-month price target of $100 projects an energy franchise value of $60 per share, coupled with $40 in share value for bandwidth.

In October of 2001, 11 months after J-Low proclaimed this prediction, Enron spiraled into bankruptcy disaster and the stock plummeted to less than $1 per share.

So I’m thinking we can rule out the “Jho Low is the Malaysian Warren Buffett with the spending appetites of Ron Burkle” theory.

According to the Post, though, NYC nightclub impresarios don’t give a good goddamn where J-Low gets his money from — they want him to spend it in their establishments, and they’ll gladly keep his secrets.

JHO Low — the mysterious Malaysian who likes to surround himself with long-legged models and run up six-figure tabs buying bottles of Cristal — is a golden goose for nightclub owners, who are fiercely protecting his privacy.

“A Jho Low comes around once in a lifetime,” marveled one industry veteran. It’s been open war as each club operator tries to get Low into his place and keep him out of his competitors.

For his part, Low’s spokesman vehemently denies the tabloid tales, even as the smoke from this story is noticeable enough to rally the Five Nations to the warpath.

Low did not respond to e-mails for comment, and his spokesman David Tan refused to reveal his boss’ birthday or background.

“Mr. Low is currently in the USA for holiday and has on several occasions stayed in New York City with his friend[s],” Tan said via e-mail. “He, however, has not rented any property or purchased any property in New York City. Mr. Low did not spend $160,000 at Avenue on one night during Fashion Week.”

That’s right, he spent $159,632! (pinky to mouth)

About Alpine McGregor
Just like you, man. I got the shotgun, you got the briefcase. All in the game, though, right?

One Response to Mystery Malaysian Electrifies NYC Club Scene

  1. AroraCourt says:

    for some background info: (note 3 KEY words at the end of the link below..)

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