Tuesday 16 January 2018

Ireland's biggest ever rock 'n' roll export has been around for more than 35 years but Bono (54), The Edge, Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton continue to coin it.

They have sold more than 170m albums, including 52m in the US, according to the RIAA. As the importance of record sales began to diminish, U2 became a touring machine.

Forbes has estimated that U2 made close to €459m from touring over the last decade. The band's 2011 360 tour was the highest-grossing tour of all time, with the group said to have made €179m out of it. Although a far smaller affair, the latest Innocence + Experience tour generated about €1.93m per night on the US leg.

Outside of music, band members have diverse interests and investments, including a stake in the Clarence Hotel and Dublin dockland properties. The Dubliners also own some smashing houses, from Killiney Hill to valuable beach-front castles in Eze and Beaulieu on the Cote D'Azur.

Bono is a partner in $1.9bn US tech investor Elevation, which is sitting on stratospheric profits from a 2.3pc stake in Facebook bought back in 2009. It has also backed the likes of Yelp, Forbes magazine and Palm. Along with the Edge, he is also an investor in cloud storage group Dropbox.

The Edge is bankrolling a major $10m luxury property scheme in the hills of Malibu, while Larry Mullen's own personal investments included a €3m investment in a "European hotel fund" and a €4.5m loan for an investment in Romania, according to documents relating to a court case with a former adviser.

Adam Clayton also sued a former adviser, with the court hearing that he had invested €1.2m in the Friends First Orion fund, focusing on the UK and Northern Ireland, and €3m in the Friends First Crystal fund, focusing on potential development land mainly in Munster and Connacht.

There was also a €5.37m investment in Timisoara Partnership in Romania, another €1.05m in a European hotel consortium in Belgium, and €270,000 in a pharmaceutical company.

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