3:49pm Saturday 19th May 2012
© Press Association 2013
U2 frontman Bono has laughed off claims he will become a billionaire on the back of the Facebook flotation that netted co-creator Mark Zuckerberg more than a billion US dollars.
The rock star's investment group Elevation put money into the social networking site, taking 2.3% of the company in late 2009.
But while the flotation means Elevation is worth way in excess of £1 billion, Bono is joined by nine other directors who stand to profit.
He said: "Contrary to reports, I'm not a billionaire or going to be richer than any Beatle - and not just in the sense of money, by the way, the Beatles are untouchable - those billionaire reports are a joke."
There had been suggestions that the canny investment could make his wealth outstrip that of Sir Paul McCartney, said to be valued at £665 million.
The initial public offering (IPO) of Facebook shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market was one of the biggest ever US stock market flotations. But despite the hype, shares in the company closed up just 23 cents on their first day of trading after being priced at 38 dollars each.
It made the site worth about 105 billion dollars - more than Amazon.com, McDonalds, Hewlett-Packard and Cisco. By the end of the day, more than 500 million shares had changed hands.
Nick Einhorn, an analyst with IPO advisory firm Renaissance Capital, said: "It wasn't quite as exciting as it could have been but I don't think we should view it as a failure."
Mr Zuckerberg, who sold about 30 million shares, will retain a large stake in the company, making him worth an estimated 19.1 billion US dollars - the 23rd richest person in the world at the age of 28.
He said: "Right now this all seems like a big deal. Going public is an important milestone in our history. But here's the thing - our mission isn't to be a public company. Our mission is to make the world more open and connected."
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