Trump’s social media company is going public. He could get $3 billion

(Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press)

Trump’s social media company is going public. He could get $3 billion

Homepage News, Elections 2024

Associated press

March 22, 2024

Donald Trump returns to the stock market.

Shareholders of Digital World Acquisition Corp., a publicly traded shell company, approved a deal Friday to merge with the former president’s media operations. That means Trump Media & Technology Group, whose flagship social networking site Truth Social, will soon begin trading on the Nasdaq stock market.

Trump could receive a significant payout in the process. He would own most of the combined company, or nearly 79 million shares. Multiply that by Digital Worlds’ Thursday closing price of $42.81, and the total value of Trump’s stake could exceed $3 billion. Shares fell 5% after the merger’s approval was announced.

The green light for the deal comes as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee faces his most expensive legal battle yet: a $454 million verdict in a fraud case.

But Trump won’t be able to cash in on Friday’s deal windfall immediately unless some things change, due to a lock-up provision that prevents company insiders from selling newly issued shares for six months.

Trump’s presidential campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Trump’s previous foray into the stock market did not end well. Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts went public in 1995 under the symbol DJT, the same symbol under which Trump Media will trade. In 2004, Trump’s casino company filed for bankruptcy protection and was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.

Prior to the merger’s approval, Digital World’s filings noted many of the risks facing investors, as well as those facing Truth Social’s owner once Trump Media also goes public.

One risk, the company said, is that Trump would have the right to vote in his own interest as a controlling shareholder, which may not always be in the interest of all shareholders. Digital World also mentioned the high failure rate for new social media platforms, as well as Trump Media’s expectation that it would lose money on its operations in the near future.

Trump Media lost $49 million in the first nine months of last year, when it brought in just $3.4 million in revenue and had to pay $37.7 million in interest expenses.

Trump Media and Digital World first announced their merger plans in October 2021. In addition to a federal investigation, the deal faced a series of lawsuits leading up to Friday’s vote.

Truth Social launched in February 2022, a year after Trump was banned from major social platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, the platform now known as X, following the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol. He has since recovered from both, but remains with Truth Social as a megaphone for his message.

Trump promoted Truth Social in a post on the social media network Thursday evening, saying: SOCIAL TRUTH IS MY VOICE, AND THE REAL VOICE OF AMERICA!!! MAGA2024!!!

Trump Media has not yet released Truth Social’s user numbers. But research firm Similarweb estimates it had about 5 million active mobile and web users in February.

That’s far below TikTok’s more than 2 billion and Facebook’s 3 billion, but still higher than rivals like Parler, which has been offline for almost a year but is planning a comeback, or Gettr, which had fewer than 2 million visitors in February .


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