Trump's net worth just grew by roughly $3 billion following company merger while NY AG James attempts to bankrupt him with civil fraud judgment

March 24, 2024
by
Ben Marquis

New York Attorney General Letitia James, in conjunction with Judge Arthur Engoron, is attempting to financially cripple former President Donald Trump with a nearly half-billion dollar judgment and threat of asset seizure and liquidation following an overtly biased civil fraud trial.

That effort to bankrupt Trump may be for naught, though, as he stands to be about $3 billion richer in the near future, at least in theory, once an approved merger between Trump's media company and a publicly traded shell company is finalized, according to the Associated Press.

Whether Trump will be able to immediately make use of the new infusion of wealth to fend off the Democratic lawfare that aims to financially ruin him is still unclear, however.

Merger approved

On Friday, a majority of shareholders of the publicly traded shell company Digital World Acquisition Corp. voted in favor of a merger deal that has been years in the making with the Trump Media & Technology Group, which is the parent company of former President Trump's social media platform, Truth Social.

Once that deal is finalized, Trump will reportedly hold a sizeable majority stake in the newly merged company, estimated to be around 79 million shares, which at the current stock price of DWAC would be valued at around $3 billion.

Trump may not be able to make use of that new addition to his net worth, though, as financial regulations generally impose a six-month "lockup" period following such mergers that prohibit company insiders from cashing in immediately by selling off their shares.

Trump's shares in newly-merged company currently valued at around $3 billion

CNBC reported Saturday that the news of the approved merger between DWAC and TMTG resulted in a steep decline of roughly 14% of DWAC's publicly traded shares that are listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

Those shares were reportedly trading at $44.20 when the exchange opened Friday morning but had fallen to $36.94 per share by the closing bell -- though the shares ticked back up to $38.55 per share in after-hours trading.

While that $38.55 per share price -- worth roughly $3.04 billion for Trump's 79 million shares -- is a substantial windfall for the former president, it is well short of the potential net worth infusion Trump might have received if the merger had been approved in January when DWAC peaked at $58.72 per share, which would have been valued Trump's shares at approximately $4.6 billion at that time.

One of the big questions now, according to CNBC, besides whether Trump can immediately cash in on those shares, is what will happen going forward with the stock price of the newly merged company, which will trade under the ticker symbol DJT, and whether it will continue to decline, hold steady, or increase.

Trump could get waiver from company board to quickly cash in on stock shares

The question of whether former President Trump can immediately make use of the newly acquired wealth he will receive from the merger is not just an academic exercise but rather is a pressing one with real-world implications, given the impending deadline for him to post an appeals bond equal to the nearly half-billion civil judgment against him in New York -- a bond he has reportedly faced difficulties in financing.

As noted, mergers of this sort between DWAC and TMTG typically include a six-month lockup to prevent insiders from immediately liquidating their shares, but according to Breitbart, that restriction can be modified or waived by the new company's board to allow Trump to either cash out or use the shares as collateral to obtain loans.

Of course, even if Trump gets the board's approval, other questions remain such as whether Trump can complete a sale of some of his shares in time to raise the necessary cash for the appeals bond or whether banks and lending institutions would accept the shares, and their inherently fluctuating value, as collateral for loans to cover the bond.

Those questions aside, it seems likely that Trump will receive the approval he seeks from the new company's board, given that it will be largely comprised of his allies, per the AP, including his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., former Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) as the board chair and company CEO, former U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, former Small Business Administration head Linda McMahon, and former national security aide Kash Patel, among others.

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