Sir Bob Geldof joins U2's Bono as a private equity underwriter (PEU). Geldof is partner in a fund raising $750 million for African buyouts. The fund, called 8 Miles, will invest in agribusiness, financial services and telecommunications.
Like Bono, Geldof was the lead singer for the Boomtown Rats. Ironically, Geldof sung this in 1982 as Pink in the movie The Wall:
Tell me is something eluding you sunshine? Is this not what you expected to see? If you wanna find out what's behind these cold eyes, you'll just have to crawl your way through this disguise!
Who expected yesterday's rock rebels to be today's greed men? Bono's Elevation Partners and Geldof's 8 Miles symbolize the infection of PEU's on the world economy. Micro finance, with its lofty uplifting goal, brought 23% annual returns to PEU Shorecap International. Those returns are government aided. 8 Miles is funded by the African Development Corporation and the International Finance Corporation.
The fund has been named 8 Miles – the distance between the southern tip of Europe and northern Africa.
The 2002 movie 8 Mile had this as the theme:
The people of Detroit know 8 Mile as the city limit, a border, a boundary. It is also a psychological dividing line that separates Jimmy Smith Jr. from where and who he wants to be.Border, boundary, and psychological dividing line symbolize private equity. It's the line between the have's and the have not's. Despite his admirable history of philanthropy, Geldorf's move puts him on the PEU side of the line, where the have more's are never satisfied.
Update 9-5-11: Forbes reported Geldof's 8 Miles is up to $200 million of its $1 billion target. The story closes with Africa's higher rate of return, the aphrodisiac for PEU's, and how "everyone wants a piece of the action." That includes Adam Ant, who simply wants a piece of Geldof. The world continues to fracture around deadly sins of anger and greed.
Update 2-19-12: Fundraising stalled since the last update. 8 Miles closed its African Fund at $204 million (155 million euros). Investors include the World Bank, the African Development Bank, UK state overseas investment firm CDC Group, as well as institutional and private investors.