Friday 15 December 2017

No Beautiful Day in Edun as stars prop up losses

Laura Noonan

BONO and wife Ali Hewson have ploughed another $14m (€11m) into their ethical African clothing company after the venture lost almost $28m in its first five years.

The cash injection is revealed in accounts just filed for the duo's Edun Apparel firm, and takes their investment in the company up to almost $18m.

The U2 frontman and his charity activist wife also lent Edun another $2.5m last year, bringing their shareholders' loans to $11.4m.


Founded in 2005, Edun describes itself as a "contemporary lifestyle brand" whose mission is "to encourage trade with Africa and build awareness of what is possible there".

The accounts give no explanation for the accumulated losses, which increased by almost $9m last year, and Edun's financial controller yesterday said she had "nothing to add to the published statements".

The massive losses left Edun with net liabilities of almost $10.4m at the end of the year, even after the U2 frontman and has wife ploughed in the extra $13m.

Edun's auditors Deloitte & Touche draw attention to the year-end financial position and say it "may require the convening of an extraordinary general meeting". In notes to the accounts, Edun stresses that it is "financed by way of shareholder loans".

"The shareholders have confirmed that they will not seek repayment of said loans for the foreseeable future and they will provide the company with sufficient finance to ensure its continued operation," the note adds. "On the basis of the foregoing, the directors consider it appropriate to prepare the financial statements on a going concern basis."

The latest 'Sunday Times' rich list showed that Bono, his bandmates and manager Paul McGuinness had a combined fortune of about £429m, having boosted their wealth marginally last year.

Edun is just one of the Hewsons' developing world projects, with Ali recently launching a T-shirt collection to help raise money for Kenyan children.

Irish Independent

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