Documents from Malta’s business registry reveal Bono’s hidden stake in Utena’s Ausra (Dawn) shopping centre in Lithuania (top). property developer Paddy McKillen
The 3,700-square-metre mall, which opened in 2006, was built by Eika, one of Lithuania’s leading developers. In April 2007, the developer announced it had sold the mall to an unnamed “foreign investor”.
The buyer was UAB Nude Estates 2, a Lithuanian company. Records show the company was ultimately part-owned by Bono, via a series of confusingly named offshore companies.
Between 2007 and 2012, UAB Nude Estates 2 was owned by a similarly named Maltese offshore company, Nude Estates Malta Ltd. Leaked registry documents show Bono is listed as one of three owners of Nude Estates Malta, along with a man named Robin Andrew Barnes and Patrick Gerard McKillen.
Mr McKillen is an Irish businessman who also co-owns a luxury Dublin hotel [The Clarence] with Bono and U2 guitarist David Howell Evans, also known as The Edge.
In 2012, ownership of the Lithuanian company was transferred to another offshore company, this time in the British Crown Dependency of Guernsey, called Nude Estates I Ltd.
It is unclear how large Bono’s investment in the Utena mall is, or how much it has earned him. In its 2007 financial records, the Lithuanian company, Nude Estates 2, stated its fixed assets were valued at 19.6 million Lithuanian litas, then worth about $10 million.
Header: Bertie Blenkinsop