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In one of the most shocking announcement's of this current SPAC boom, Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) has struck an $875M deal to go public via Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC). The announcement gives no transaction details with seemingly no PIPE, and set to use the $295M cash in DWAC's trust (assuming no redemptions).
DWAC jumped after hours and is up again this morning in pre-market.
TMTG appears to be a newly founded company chaired by former President Donald J. Trump. We've seen plenty of pre-revenue companies strike SPAC deals (see flying taxis and robots), but this might be the first instance of, at least what appears to be on paper, a brand new company with little to no operations. TMTG's mission is to create a rival to the "liberal media consortium" and fight back against Big Tech.
While light on specific details of the company's plans, TMTG has broad ambitions to take on the behemoths in tech, media and entertainment. In their corporate overview presentation they position themselves to fight everyone from Facebook to Netflix and Amazon's AWS.
As a first step, TMTG will be launching a social network called TRUTH, which will go to beta next month. Former President Trump is listed as its chairman, and said:
“I created TRUTH Social and TMTG to stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech. We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American President has been silenced. This is unacceptable. I am excited to send out my first TRUTH on TRUTH Social very soon. TMTG was founded with a mission to give a voice to all. I'm excited to soon begin sharing my thoughts on TRUTH Social and to fight back against Big Tech. Everyone asks me why doesn’t someone stand up to Big Tech? Well, we will be soon!”
In a bit of a disappointing branding, even Trump couldn't do better than naming his forthcoming streaming company with a plus. So TMGT+ will join Disney+, Apple TV+, ESPN+ in the streaming wars.
Digital World Acquisition SPAC
As for Digital World Acquisition, they are led by Patrick Orlando and sponsored by ARC Global Investments. Orlando is currently involved with at least 4 active SPACs.
None of the SPACs have made it through to deSPAC yet. Yuhong International (ZGYH) previously had an announced deal, but in September 2021 Giga Energy terminated its deal agreement with ZGYH. ZGYH had previously extended their SPAC completion deadline to November 18, 2021. At the time they added $690,000 to the trust.
Similar to the DWAC / Trump deal, the Yuhong deal was very short on details at the time of merger announcement and thereafter.
In addition to his SPAC involvement, Mr. Orlando's resume includes:
- Chief Executive Officer of Benessere Capital, LLC, an investment consulting and investment banking firm he founded in Miami in October 2012.
- CFO Sucro Can Sourcing LLC from March 2014 to August 2018
- Managing Director and the Head of Structuring and Derivatives of BT Capital Markets, LLC from March 2011 to March 2014
- Chief Technical Officer and Director of Pure Biofuels Corporation from September 2006 to March 2011
- Director of Emerging Markets Fixed Income Derivatives of Deutsche Bank from April 1998 to December 2003
- Bachelors of science degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Management Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Interestingly DWAC, who just recently IPO'ed last month, was originally targeting a company in "SaaS and Technology or Fintech and Financial Services sector." While the Trump PR lists ambitions about nearly every industry under the sun, it still appears to be a bit of a pivot for DWAC - though that is nothing new in SPACs.
Given the massive and passionate support for Trump, it wouldn't be shocking to see DWAC's share price remain elevated (MEME stock anyone?). However, it will be interesting to see if the SEC and Gary Gensler have anything to say about this transaction.
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(Disclaimers: this is not investment advice. The author may be long one or more stocks mentioned in this report.)