$1 billion Facebook fortune for Bono

Bono. Photo / Wayne Drought
Bono. Photo / Wayne Drought

Super-rich Irish rock star Bono is about to become even richer, thanks to Facebook.

The initial public offering (IPO) of Facebook this week revealed that the shares Bono bought in the company three years ago could be worth about US$1 billion ($1.2 billion) when the social networking site goes public later this year.

The focus has been on the move making Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg one of the richest men in the world, but others will also make a killing including the U2 frontman, who owns a one per cent share through his investment company Elevation Partners. The company bought the shares for US$90 million in 2009.

This isn't the first time Bono has bought shares but it's the biggest windfall of his investing career. He lost heavily pouring huge amounts of cash into Forbes Media and Move.com, but reports say the valuation of his shares will make him - on paper at least - the richest rock star on the planet.

This will push him ahead of Sir Paul McCartney, estimated to be worth US$600 to US$750 million.

Bono and Zuckerberg won't be the only ones to benefit. The IPO to raise US$5 billion from investors is expected to value the company at up to US$100 billion, making billionaires and multi-millionaires of more than 100 of Facebook's original and senior employees and investors. More than 1000 employees are expected to become overnight millionaires.

Zuckerberg's majority 28.2 per cent shareholding could net him up to US$28 billion. Others expected to make billions include chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, who Zuckerberg lured from Google to have a "grown-up" on the board, co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and former president Sean Parker, inventor of rogue music site Napster.

- Agencies

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