Trump windfall could top $3 billion after DWAC shareholder vote on social media merger

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This photo illustration shows an image of former President Donald Trump next to a phone screen that is displaying the Truth Social app, in Washington, DC, on February 21, 2022.

Stefani Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images

Donald Trump could earn a windfall of $3 billion or more — eventually, at least — if shareholders in Digital World Acquisition Corp. on Friday vote to approve a merger with the former president’s social media company.

The vote by DWAC shareholders comes about two-and-a-half years after the so-called special purpose acquisition company announced plans to merge with Trump Media & Technology Group, the private firm that owns the Truth Social app platform.

It also comes as Trump faces the possibility that New York Attorney General Letitia James on Monday will start trying to collect on a massive $454 million civil fraud judgment against him.

If approved as expected, shares in the newly combined company could begin to be publicly traded next week under the stock symbol DJT, Trump’s initials.

Trump’s long-gone casino and hotel company also traded under that ticker symbol.

Several lawsuits recently filed over the merger’s terms have not affected the voting schedule.

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Trump would have nearly 80 million shares in the merged company.

At current trading prices of DWAC, that would be worth around $3 billion or more, although it is not clear what the merged company’s opening share price will be.

That potential windfall for Trump, while massive, could not be immediately realized, at least not under the deal’s current terms. Trump will be barred from selling shares in the merged company for at least six months.

It is possible that the board of directors could vote to allow Trump to sell shares earlier than that. And that board could be stocked with people close to Trump, including his son Donald Trump Jr., former wrestling company executive Linda McMahon, and Trump’s former trade representative Robert Lighthizer, according to a list of planned nominees.

If the board signed off on lifting the share lock-up period, that could quickly free up a large source of cash for Trump, who is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee this year.

Trump currently faces huge legal bills from his attorneys in criminal and civil cases, and damage judgments topping a half-billion dollars in three separate civil cases.

Trump earlier this week asked a New York appeals court to issue a stay of the $454 million fraud judgment as he seeks to overturn the verdict in the case. That court has yet to rule on his request.

Trump’s lawyers in a court filing said he did not have enough cash to offer as collateral to bond companies for a bond that would secure the judgment and prevent James from collecting.

But in a Truth Social post on Friday, Trump claims that “I currently have almost five hundred million in cash.”

This is developing news. Check back for updates.

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