Celebrity investments gone sour

Investing » Celebrity Investments Gone Sour


The investment: Bono is a managing director and co-founder of the private equity firm Elevation Partners, a firm dedicated to large-scale investments in "media, entertainment and consumer-related businesses."

The firm made some solid investments early on, purchasing stakes in Yelp and Facebook, and turning a $300 million investment in video game creators BioWare and Pandemic Studios into more than $620 million when Electronic Arts purchased it from Elevation in 2007.

The dive: Their subsequent investments were less prescient, as the company reportedly sank around $460 million into Palm, and $300 million into Forbes Inc. Forbes has seen its value decimated by the consumer shift from print to online, and Elevation faced huge losses on Palm until HP bought Palm in August 2010 -- giving Elevation a paltry $25 million return on its investment. In 2010, the website 24/7 Wall Street dubbed Bono "the worst investor in America." But he may have had the last laugh after all: Before Facebook went public, Elevation Partners' stake in Facebook increased by an astounding 400 percent after another investor sold his share, according to London's Daily Mail.


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