Factbox: Paul Allen's investment hits and misses

SEATTLE Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:51pm IST

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SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) co-founder Paul Allen has constructed a $15 billion portfolio of tech, sports, real estate and energy investments, while giving to a wide range of philanthropic causes.

Not all his bets have been a success. The following is a list of his most notable hits and misses over the past 30 years.

TECHNOLOGY

Microsoft - Co-founders Allen and Bill Gates started off with a 64/36 partnership. Allen's share was worth about $30 billion at the company's zenith in 1999-2000. He now has only a small stake.

Asymetrix/Starwave/Metricom - his first projects after leaving Microsoft in 1983 never lived up to expectations.

Interval Research - Allen set up his own idea lab in 1992, but it was too unfocused to bring its ideas to life. He shut it down in 2000.

America Online - Allen dumped his 24.9 percent stake in 1994 for a $75 million profit. Those shares would have been worth more than $40 billion at the height of the tech stock bubble.

Charter Communications - Allen calculates he lost $8 billion on cable firms Charter and RCN in an unsuccessful attempt to buy into the internet delivery business.

Wireless Spectrum - Allen's advisers say he has made a "very large profit" investing in wireless and telecom tower infrastructure.

ENERGY/RAW MATERIALS

Vulcan Energy Corp - a unit of Vulcan Capital, invested $200 million in Plains All American Pipeline (PAA.N) several years ago, and says it has generated $2.25 billion in returns.

ENTERTAINMENT

DreamWorks SKG - Allen invested about $700 million in the movie studio in the 1990s, eventually doubling his money.

REAL ESTATE

Seattle's South Lake Union (SLU) - Allen has made a massive profit from renovating this dilapidated commercial area, boosted by the growth of Amazon.com

SPORTS

Portland Trail Blazers - The basketball franchise Allen bought for $65 million in 1988 is now value at $457 million.

Seattle Seahawks - Allen bought his hometown football team for $194 million in 1997. It is now valued at more than $1 billion.

Seattle Sounders - Allen is part of the ownership group of Major League Soccer's best supported team.

CULTURAL

EMP Museum - Pop/rock music museum in Seattle inspired by Jimi Hendrix and housed in swirling Frank Gehry-designed structure costing $250 million.

PHILANTHROPY/SCIENCE

Allen Institute for Brain Science - inspired by watching his late mother's struggle with Alzheimer's disease, Allen has invested $500 million in this research institute.

The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation - Run together with his sister Jody, the main arm of Allen's philanthropic activities focuses on the Pacific Northwest.

Universities - Allen has given millions of dollars to the University of Washington and his alma mater Washington State University, chiefly for libraries, medical and science research.

Allen puts his total giving at more than $1.5 billion.

AEROSPACE

SpaceShipOne - An Allen-funded team won the $10 million Ansari X-Prize in 2004 by sending the first privately built manned rocket into space.

Stratolaunch Systems - Allen set up this new company to ferry people and cargo into space. First flight of the launch aircraft is slated for 2016.

Sources: Paul Allen's memoir 'Idea Man', SEC filings, Microsoft, Forbes magazine, company reports.

(Reporting by Bill Rigby; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

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