Low family fortune first built on iron-ore mining

THE Low family fortune was built by its patriarch the late Datuk Low Meng Tak.

The Teochew-speaking Meng Tak was born in 1922 in a village in China’s Guangdong province and had built a substantial part of the family fortune in China and Thailand primarily in the 1960s and 1970s through his entrepreneurship in iron-ore mining and various liquor distilleries. He had also invested in real estate across Asia, in which a portion has been sold over the years, while the family continues to develop or sell the remaining land bank.

Over the years, Meng Tak diversified the family’s business into agriculture and aquaculture, plantations, commodities trading and equity investment, among others.

The family fortune was consolidated in 2008 into a global family trust for estate planning purposes.

Jho Low’s father, Tan Sri Larry Low Hock Peng, is also no stranger to Malaysia’s corporate scene.

Larry served on the board of MWE Holdings Bhd from 1985 to 2003, mainly handling the business development and corporate affairs of the group that is involved in a diversified range of businesses such as textiles, electronics, property, industrial, leisure, plantations and corporate services.

Larry, who is the benefactor of the Jynwel Charitable Foundation, co-founded Frencken Group Ltd in 1995. Listed in Singapore, Frencken is a high-tech capital and consumer equipment service provider with operations spanning Europe, Asia and the United States.

Larry has a direct stake of 10.24% in Frencken. He has been the non-executive non-independent chairman of the group since its inception in 1995, and was appointed as the group’s director in July 2000.

According to Frencken’s website, Larry’s areas of expertise are in matters relating to corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions.

Related stories: 

Jho Low back in the limelight

Firm evaluates ‘unique’ investments globally

Early business dealings