What is Bono's Net Worth?
Born: May 10th, 1960
Company: Elevation Partners
Position: Co-Founder, Managing Partner
Bono currently has a net worth of an estimated:
A great deal has been made about Bono's net worth over the past year. Is he the richest musician alive? Did the Facebook IPO make him a billionaire?
Bono, who has been the frontman of U2 for over 30 years, is phenomenally rich - there is no question about that. After all, U2 has sold hundreds of millions of albums and has brought in BILLIONS in touring and merchandising revenues. I estimate that Bono's net worth, excluding his stake in Elevation Partners, is close to $500 million.
However, the big question is - what are the value of Bono's investments? What is his stake in private equity firm Elevation Partners worth?
As you may or may not know, Bono is a co-founder and managing partner of private equity firm Elevation Partners.
The company, which was founded in 2004, has an all-star line-up of co-founders. Marc Bodnick, Roger McNamee (both of Silverlake Partners), Fred Anderson (formerly of Apple) and John Riccitello (Electronic Arts) co-founded Elevation Partners along with Bono. Those are some heavy hitters.
After raising money, Elevation Partners invested in a number of different companies, including Forbes, Palm and Yelp. Some of the investments were terrible (Forbes plummeted in value after Elevation Partners invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the company), some of the investments were essentially break-even (Elevation Partners earned 1.5% on their investment in Palm), while others have been successful (Yelp, Facebook). Elevation Partners reportedly invested roughly $100 million in Yelp - this stake is now worth roughly $290 million. In addition, Elevation Partners also made three separate investments in Facebook and now owns 1.5% of the company - this stake is valued at approximately $600 million.
Now, in the days following Facebook's initial public offering, many media outlets were reporting that Bono was going to be a billionaire thanks to Facebook. Many media outlets were reporting that Bono owned 1.5% of Facebook - in reality, Elevation Partners owns 1.5% of Facebook. Bono is a co-founder and partner of Elevation Partners, but there are also other partners and investors - Bono doesn't own anything close to 100% of Elevation Partners or its investments.
Elevation Partners is a private equity firm, which means that the company accepts money from investors, invests it and keeps a percentage of the profits (much like a hedge fund). Elevation Partners also likely charges an annual fee.
Bono has some of his own money invested in the company, and he also receives a share of the firm's profits. The company has done well with its Facebook and Yelp investments, but it also lost money on Forbes and others.
Bono would receive a share of any of the company's profits. Let's assume that Elevation Partners is currently up 50% after their successful Facebook and Yelp investments. Let's assume that there are $500 million in total profits.
Assuming that Elevation Partners receives 20% of any profits (which is standard), the managing partners would receive $100 million. However, there are reportedly six other managing partners at Elevation Partners aside from Bono, so this $100 million would likely have to be split seven ways (assuming that each managing partner receives an equal share of the profits). Sure, Bono almost surely has some of his own money invested in Elevation Partners as well - let's assume that he invested $20 million. If Elevation Partners managed to achieve a 50% return, Bono's investment would be worth $30 million, and his share of the profits (assuming profits of $500 million) would likely be about $13.5 million.
This is not exactly the "billion dollars" that some media outlets were reporting that Bono made thanks to the Facebook initial public offering. Sure, Facebook has dropped precipitously in value since going public in the spring of 2012, but media outlets were dramatically overstating Bono's potential windfall from the IPO at the time.
I would estimate that Bono's involvement in Elevation Partners has added roughly $15-$20 million to his net worth. It's important to remember that this is a private equity firm with investors and partners - this is not Bono's private holding company.
Bono has doing extremely well for himself, mainly thanks to his involvement in U2. However, Bono's wealth is often overstated as many people aren't aware how his involvement in Elevation Partners actually works.
Note: Bono is also an investor in Dropbox
Photo: David Shankbone
Bono is worth 6,727 times more than the median US household
If Bono sold everything that he owned, he could fund the United States' deficit spending for 0.2 days.
Note: Net Worth changes calculated at 4 pm EST daily
The net worth pages are strictly for entertainment purposes only. The information on these pages is based on speculation and shouldn't be construed as being accurate in any way.
By: Dave Manuel