Trump’s Newly Launched Social Media Corporation Set to Commence Trading this Tuesday

Trump’s Newly Launched Social Media Corporation Set to Commence Trading this Tuesday

Former President Donald J. Trump’s social media company officially became a public company on Monday morning, and in the process the former president’s net worth has jumped by billions of dollars.

A lawyer for Trump Media & Technology Group filed papers on Monday with the Delaware Division of Corporations, which said the company’s merger with a cash-rich shell company had formally closed. On Friday, shareholders of Digital World Acquisition Corp. approved the long-delayed merger with Trump Media by an overwhelming majority.

Trump Media announced in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that shares of the company would begin trading on the Nasdaq on Tuesday, under the stock symbol “DJT.”

The stock jumped after the announcement and ended the day at $49.95 per share, up 35 percent.

Trump Media is now valued at more than $6 billion — even though its flagship Truth Social digital platform took in just $3.3 million in revenue during the first nine months of 2023.

Based on the current stock price, Mr. Trump’s 79-million-share stake in Trump Media is worth nearly $4 billion — at least on paper. The merger was finalized just as Mr. Trump was facing a deadline on Monday to secure a bond to cover a big penalty imposed by a judge in a civil fraud case. But in a break for Mr. Trump, the judge on Monday reduced the amount that Mr. Trump would need to post, to $175 million from $454 million.

In order to tap into his newfound wealth in Trump Media shares, Mr. Trump would need the company’s new board to remove a restriction that prevents him from selling shares or using shares as collateral for the next six months.

Mr. Trump was chairman of Trump Media before the merger. But he is not listed as a member of the company’s new board, which is made up of loyalists to the former president.

A person needs to be a member of a company’s board to serve as its chairman, said Usha Rodrigues, a professor of corporate law at the University of Georgia School of Law.

It’s not clear who will serve as chair of the board, or why Mr. Trump is no longer in that role. But he will continue to hold tremendous sway over the company.

Not only will he own about 60 percent of Trump Media’s stock, he also owns a separate class of shares that will give him at least 55 percent voting power over all shareholder measures.

The company’s seven-member board includes his son Donald Jr. and the company’s chief executive officer, Devin Nunes, a former Republican congressman from California. Also on the board are three members who had served under his adminstration: Kash Patel, who was the chief of staff to Mr. Trump’s acting secretary of defense; the former U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer; and Linda McMahon, a former administrator of the Small Business Administration.

Ms. McMahon is a chairwoman of a big fund-raiser for Mr. Trump scheduled on April 6 in Palm Beach, Fla., according to a copy of the invitation.

The other two board members of the company, which is based in Sarasota, Fla., are W. Kyle Green, a Louisiana lawyer; and Eric Swider, chief executive of Digital World, who had led the special purpose acquisition company through the merger process with Trump Media for the past year.

The deal gives Trump Media immediate access to the more than $300 million that Digital World had raised from investors in a 2021 initial public offering and subsequent private financing deal. The influx of cash will enable Trump Media, which had been running on fumes, to continue to fund its operations, especially Truth Social.

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