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Bono's Forbes investment hits rocks as firm struggles to refinance $50m loan

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U2's Adam Clayton and Bono on stage during their '360' tour at the Olympic stadium in Turin, Italy, in 2010

U2's Adam Clayton and Bono on stage during their '360' tour at the Olympic stadium in Turin, Italy, in 2010

U2's Adam Clayton and Bono on stage during their '360' tour at the Olympic stadium in Turin, Italy, in 2010

BONO may have struck gold with investments in Facebook and local search site Yelp, but another multi-million deal by his investment firm hit more trouble yesterday as Forbes Media struggles to refinance a $50m (€38m) loan.

The U2 frontman's Elevation Partners paid $237.2m for a 45pc stake in Forbes in 2006. That valued the company, best known for its eponymous business magazine, at around $525m, but the rise of the internet and the financial crisis has seen the magazine's circulation plummet.

Forbes is now worth an estimated $100m and is struggling to refinance a $50m debt due this summer.

Press reports in New York suggest the company, which underwent a default and restructuring in 2009, is struggling to find a bank to run the refinancing.

None of the six firms involved in the original deal are willing to work with Forbes this time, and the deal is apparently being run by the boutique investment bank PrinceRidge Group.

Still, even though they are sitting on huge paper losses on the back of the Forbes deal, Elevation Partners is probably not too worried.

The technology and media focused firm is expected to make more than $800m when Facebook goes public in May while it is sitting on a paper profit of close to $165m from its investment in Yelp, a local search and networking website that floated on the stock market last week and immediately soared in value.

Indo Business