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A Beautiful Day for Bono Thanks to Facebook


Bono is among the long list of those who will benefit when Facebook goes public on Friday. The U2 singer is set to become the richest man in rock when Facebook shares go on public sale tomorrow, overtaking Sir Paul McCartney who has topped the rock 'n' roll rich-list for years and is currently worth roughly 665 million pounds.

Bono will overtake that by some distance when Facebook goes public. His Elevation Partners equity firm bought 2.3% of Zuckerberg's company in 2009 for $90 million, and that investment will be worth over $1.5 billion when the deal is done.

Of course, regular people will say that it must be nice to have $90 million to risk, and they will be right. For most people, $1 million is an amount of money outside of their wildest dreams, never mind $90 million. But Bono, it is fair to say, is not most people.

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He is already one of the world's highest paid musicians. In the last two years, he has taken profits of around $195 million from record sales and concert receipts. That is a hell of a lot of money, but his eyebrows will be raised well above those big sunglasses over the fact that he made much more money by sitting on his butt and letting Mark Zuckerberg (and his broker) do all of the work. If he wishes, he never has to sing "Sunday Bloody Sunday" or "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses" again.

When Elevation, which has a lot of wealthy private clients, first bought Facebook stock, it was worth $9 billion. In June of 2011, it had gone up to $23 billion. At the end of last year, Goldman Sachs valued it at $50 billion.

On Friday, the company's value should shoot through the roof. Of course, Bono won't be able to spend that money right away as he can't sell all of his shares at once. However, it is fair to say that his value is about to rocket up. He has said that a lot of that money will go to come of Bono's charity projects which focus on humanitarian aid in Africa.

The world is a funny place. For all of the criticism aimed at Zuckerberg and Facebook, the success of the site will directly result in good being done in impoverished countries. Nice work, Bono.

Follow me @BCallwood.

Posted-In: FacebookNews IPOs Tech Best of Benzinga


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