Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sympathy for the Bono: He's struggling

How can Bono make poverty history? He's having trouble stopping himself making his own wealth history. He's the worst investor on Wall Street, reckons 24-7 Wall Street. It stares at Elevation, his equity group:

The most well-known of the Elevation investments is Palm (PALM) which made a completely unsuccessful run at the smartphone business dominated by Apple (AAPL), RIM (RIMM), and handsets powered by the Google (GOOG) mobile operating system known as Android. Wall St. had hoped that Palm’s new line of Pre handsets would allow the company to be a modest competitor in the industry. It has, instead, burned through large amounts of money and, ,by its own admission, is in trouble as it tries to reach what were fairly modest sales goals.

Yes, but everyone can have one bum deal, can't they?

Oh. There's more. There was three hundred million sunk into Forbes:
Forbes may have done somewhat better than that, but the value of the family controlled business that was once run by Malcolm Forbes has dropped by at least 80%. Elevation owns an illiquid investment in a media company that is now worth perhaps $100 million.

And Elevation also invested heavily in shares have lost about 50% of their value since then. Last year, Move had a net loss of $7 million on revenue of $212 million. The market value of the firm has dropped to $340 million and the stock trades at just above $2.

Oh, and Elevation stuck cash into Yelp. Yelp bravely turned down a $500 million bid from Google just in time to be hit by a wave of lawsuits claiming its reviews were less than genuine.

Don't titter, though. If he ends up losing his shirt, he's going to have to more songs to scrape together the money for his glasses.

[Thanks to Michael M]