Shares of merger partner Truth Social rise after Elon Musk’s Twitter deal | Jobi Cool

The TRUTH Social website is seen on a mobile device with a photo of former US President Donald Trump in the background in this photo in Warsaw, Poland on February 23, 2022.

Nurphoto | Getty Images

Shares in Digital World Acquisition Corp.The unverified company slated to take Trump Media and Technology Group and its Truth Social platform public rose on Friday as Elon Musk took the reins at Twitter.

Musk has previously said he would reactivate Trump’s Twitter account, which was banned after the riots at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The former president had about 88 million followers on Twitter, but he has only amassed 4.37 million on Truth Social.

Shares in DWAC closed more than 3% higher on Friday, amid broader market gains, after falling earlier in the day. The stock has fallen more than 67% year to date to $17.07. The 52-week high was $101.87.

Barring legal intervention, Trump Media currently has until December to complete the merger with DWAC and go public. A shareholder vote is set for Thursday to extend that deadline to September 2023, but the last four such votes have failed to reach the required 65% shareholder approval.

Trump posted on Truth Social Friday praising Musk’s acquisition, but also praised his own platform.

“TRUTH SOCIAL has become somewhat of a phenomenon. Last week the numbers were higher than all other platforms including TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and the rest,” Trump wrote. “I’m very happy that Twitter is now in healthy hands and will no longer be controlled by Radical Left Lunatics and Maniacs.”

DWAC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The former president’s project still needs to clear legal and financial hurdles.

A complaint by former Truth Social head William Wilkerson, a Securities and Exchange Commission whistleblower, alleged that Trump Media and DWAC discussed a merger before DWAC announced, which would violate securities laws. The merger is now the subject of a federal criminal investigation.

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DWAC has previously warned that failure to extend the deal could lead to the dissolution of the SPAC, and Trump has warned that he doesn’t need hundreds of millions from the deal.

“If they don’t come up with the funding, I’m going to privatize it,” Trump told supporters at a rally in Michigan in early October. “Easy to keep it private.”

The former president has raised his fair share of private funding for the Trump Media and Technology Group.

Notable investments include $9.8 million from Karl Pfluger, an oil executive and brother of Trump-endorsed U.S. Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas.

Spokesman August Pfluger told Reuters he had no personal investment in Trump Media & Technology Group, saying: “He earned the support of President Trump long before the creation of Truth Social.”

Other investors include Patrick Walsh, a former associate of Trump Media CFO Philip Juhan, who owns a $6.2 million stake. Roy Bailey, who co-chaired Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, donated $200,000 to Trump Media. George Glass, Trump’s ambassador to Portugal, gave $500,000. Texas fruitcake mogul Bob McNutt invested $100,000.

About $1 billion more in private investment was due to come through DWAC at the end of the merger, but a key deadline passed in September, allowing investors to withdraw their stake. Since then, at least $138 million in funding has been withdrawn.

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