Back in 2009, U2’s front man Bono, through his investment vehicle Elevation Partners, bought a one percent stake in Facebook for $90 million. From Wednesday’s $5 billion Facebook initial public offering (IPO) Bono is set to make almost $1 billion, making him the richest rock star on the planet.
To put his possible wealth into perspective – currently Sir Paul McCartney, the former Beatle, is the richest rock star in the world with a wealth estimated at $600 to $750 million.
Bono’s Elevation Partners original investment, one percent of stock for $90 million, was a very smart move by Bono who is already worth $200 million. Not a bad year, money-wise, for Bono whose “360 Tour” with U2 was dubbed the highest grossing jaunt of 2011, taking in $293 million, according to NME.
However, Bono’s latest investment windfall with Facebook has raised some questions. The International Business Times yesterday questioned whether “Saint Bono” would “Pay Tax on Facebook IPO Windfall?”
They cited Bono’s controversial move in 2006, moving his business affairs from Ireland to the Netherlands after Ireland capped the previously generous tax breaks for artists. This move led to protests against U2 at Glastonbury in 2011.
At the time even politicians branded the move as a cynical ploy especially as Bono, who is heavily involved in charity, was asking the Irish Government to give more to poverty relief.
It’s also believed that Facebook going public will mean the website’s founder Mark Zucherberg will be named as one of the top 50 richest people in the work according to Yahoo. His shares have a net worth of $16 billion.