A COMPANY backed by U2 singer Bono has lost over €513m as shares in the Facebook social network continue on their downward spiral.
Elevation Partners, the fund that includes Bono on its list of investors, has dropped from €1.09bn to €578m since the Facebook flotation just three months ago.
Investors now fear a further drop in the shares which hit a record low overnight, falling from e36 at the time of the flotation to e15 yesterday.
The euphoria surrounding the flotation has proven short-lived. At the time the deal made Facebook's founder, 28-year-old Mark Zuckerberg, the 23rd richest man on the planet with a fortune valued at €15bn.
That has now dropped to almost half that value, knocking him off the list of the world's top 10 wealthiest technology entrepreneurs as calculated by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index this month.
Investors who had been blocked from selling shares until now are faced with a decision whether to sell at the current price or hold on and hope for the price to turn around.
For company insiders the share drop has been painful.
Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of the company, has seen her e1.3bn windfall drop to e693m. And she now has to sit tight as the shares will only pay out if she stays with the company.
Peter Thiel, the PayPal co-founder who backed Facebook in its infancy, has already converted all his shares in recent days to a form that can easily be sold despite the fact that their value has dropped from over e800m to a current e453m.
Eduardo Saverin, who co-founded the company, had been named the eighth richest person in Singapore but his wealth has almost halved since May, down from e3.4bn to e1.7bn.
The flotation has been a catastrophe since day one when a computer error on the first day of trading left people trying to buy the shares in the dark for more than two hours.
Several investors suffered losses because of the glitch and Nasdaq, the stock exchange where Facebook is traded, had to set aside tens of millions of dollars to compensate furious traders.
Investors holding 271 million shares were free to sell them for the first time yesterday. Under a 90-day rule to stop insider trading, they had to hold the shares up until then.