Investors approve merger to list Trump social media company

Published Mar 25, 2024


NEW YORK - Shareholders have approved a merger to list Donald Trump’s social media venture on the stock market, potentially providing him with some $3 billion (R57bn).

Investors of Digital World Acquisition Corp, an investment vehicle, voted on Friday to combine with Trump Media & Technology Group, which owns Trump’s Truth Social platform.

The deal provides Trump with a potential windfall as he faces legal problems, although he may not be able to access the funds for months as the clock ticks down on the possible seizure of his assets and threatened bankruptcy if he fails to come up with cash to pay a half-a-billion dollar bond.

The former president, who is running again in this year’s election, is under pressure after a New York court ruled that he, his sons and his family company lied about the value of assets, deceiving banks and insurers.

Shares of his social media company could start trading on the stock market as early as Monday, upping his worth by $3bn, but it is uncertain when the cash would be available to cover his $454 million bond.

“No trial, no jury, no crime, no victim,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform. “Only a crooked judge and a corrupt, Trump-hating attorney general, who takes her orders directly from the White House.

“Election interference at a level never seen before!”

Trump said that due to “hard work, talent, and luck” he had almost $500m in cash that he had planned to spend on his election campaign, adding the judge “knew this, (and) wanted to take it away from me”.

Trump built a public profile as a property developer and businessman in New York before entering politics.

Despite the real-estate mogul’s $2.6bn estimated net worth – and his own claims of having cash on hand – his lawyers say that it has been impossible to come up with the $454m bond, due on Monday.

Typically, such bonds would be underwritten by an insurer or specialised bond company.

But Trump’s lawyers say that after approaching 30 such companies, none will take the ex-president’s real-estate holdings as collateral.

Trump, facing 91 criminal counts in other cases, has seized on his legal woes to fire up supporters and denounce his opponent President Joe Biden, claiming that all the court cases are a political tactic to thwart his election chances.

Agence France-Presse