April 14, 2024

The parent company of Donald Trump’s social media company, Truth Social, could soon become a multi-billion dollar public company, depending on a vote scheduled for Friday. Trump could stand to gain over $3 billion if the proposed merger goes through, which could be his ticket out of some hefty legal bills.

The shareholders of Digital World Acquisition (DWAC), a special-purpose acquisition company formed to facilitate a private company going public, will vote on Friday on whether to approve the merger with Trump Media and Technology Group. Trump would own at least 58% of the new company, which would list on the Nasdaq under the former President’s initials, DJT.

Trump has faced several expensive lawsuits in the last few years. A judge recently ordered Trump to pay $454 million in a civil fraud suit from New York’s Attorney General Letitia James. The New York Times reported that Trump was having trouble paying that large sum, as roughly 30 companies he approached allegedly would not loan him the money. The merger to go public with Truth Social could serve as Trump’s lifeline.

Trump would own roughly 79 million shares of the new company, according to an SEC filing. Each of those shares is worth roughly $40 as of Thursday morning, meaning Trump could gain over $3.1 billion from his social media enterprise. DWAC was worth roughly $50 per share last month, and Trump’s stake was worth closer to $4 billion. However, the share price has skyrocketed in the last year, as this merger moves closer to fruition.

While Trump couldn’t cash out immediately, it could offer the former President some meaningful capital. The parent company of Truth Social generated just over $3.3 million in revenue for the first nine months of 2023, according to filings with the SEC, but the stock value could be worth much more. The SEC gave a green light on this deal back in February.

Truth Social launched in 2022, just over a year after Trump was booted from Twitter over his tweets during the Jan. 6th insurrection. The social media site has served as a beacon for Trump, with 6.7 million followers, and continues to be a major selling point for the app. However, Truth Social is also a platform for other conservative voices.

The CEO of Trump Media says Truth Social was created to “build a free speech highway outside the stifling stranglehold of Big Tech,” in a government filing. That was put to the test when Joe Biden created an account on the platform in October. The account continues to be active months later as a way for Biden to troll Trump.

A version of this article originally appeared on Gizmodo.

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