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Chart for price of shares in Digital World Acquisition Corp. in days leading up to and including shareholder approval of merger with Donald Trump’s social media company.


Donald Trump on Saturday told his many online followers, “I LOVE TRUTH SOCIAL” — but shareholders in the newly merged company that will own that social media app might not feel so great after a sharp drop in price the day before.

The shell company Digital World Acquisition Corp. saw its share price plunge nearly 14% in the hours following shareholder approval Friday morning of a merger with the former president’s social media company to take it public.

If that drop accelerates in the coming weeks, the value of Trump’s majority stake in the newly merged company, dubbed Trump Media, could be a bit lower than the $3 billion or so estimated before shareholders signed off on the deal Friday.

DWAC’s stock, which hit a 52-week-high of $58.72 per share on Jan. 23 as the long-stalled merger appeared more likely to happen, had fallen to $44.20 per share as trading opened Friday morning just ahead of the shareholder vote.

DWAC shares closed trading Friday afternoon at $36.94 per share.

After-hours trading saw the stock recover a bit to $38.55 per share. But that was still 12.7% lower than Friday’s opening price.

The decline could reflect concerns about whether Trump Media & Technology Group, which is being merged with DWAC, can ultimately deliver significant revenue — and whether Trump will try to cash in on his share early because of his many legal problems.

TMTG, which owns the Trump Social platform that Trump used Saturday to proclaim his love for the app, reported losses of nearly $50 million over the first three financial quarters of 2023. It booked less than $3.5 million in revenue during that time.

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Trump, in the meantime, faces civil legal judgments topping a half-billion dollars in New York federal and state courts, in addition to mounting legal bills from those cases and four criminal prosecutions as he seeks to unseat President Joe Biden in November’s election.

In the past week, Trump’s lawyers have said in a court filing that he does not have the cash to obtain an appeal bond to secure a $454 million fraud judgment in one of those cases. This would, for now, thwart the New York Attorney General’s Office from collecting on that award.

Under the terms of the merger, Trump, who will have at least a 58% stake in Trump Media, will be blocked from selling shares in the company for six months.

However, the new board of directors, which is set to include his son, Donald Trump Jr., and other close allies, could vote to lift that restriction, allowing him to sell off shares to cover his legal costs much sooner.

That, in turn, might lead to Trump Media’s share price to drop and could lead to other shareholders to sell stock, further depressing share prices.

Trump Media will use the ticker symbol DJT when it begins trading on the NASDAQ stock market as soon as next week.

That same ticker was used for Trump’s prior publicly traded company, Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, whose shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange beginning in 1995.

That company lost money every year it operated and ended up filing for bankruptcy protection in 2004, the same year it was delisted from the exchange.

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