Trump strikes SPAC deal for new social media platform


Shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp rose 80% on Thursday after the publicly listed shell company said it would merge with a business owned by former U.S. President Donald Trump to create a new social media app called TRUTH Social.

The social network, formed by the deal with the Trump Media and Technology Group, said on Wednesday it plans a beta launch next month and full roll-out in the first quarter of 2022. Shares of Miami-based Digital World were up 80% to $17.83 on Thursday morning.

In a press release, Trump said TRUTH Social would be launched after Twitter Inc barred him from their platform. Twitter and Facebook Inc suspended Trump’s account after hundreds of his supporters rioted at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 following an incendiary speech he gave falsely claiming that the 2020 election had been stolen from him through widespread voting fraud.

Twitter found that Trump posts violated its “glorification of violence” policy. Facebook found that Trump praised violence in connection with the deadly Jan. 6 attack in which rioters sought to block the formal congressional certification of his election loss to President Joe Biden.

Digital World Acquisition, led by former investment banker Patrick Orlando, has launched at least four SPACs and plans to launch two more but none of them have completed a deal yet.

Special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, use money raised through an initial public offering to take a private company public.

Trump Media & Technology Group said it will receive $293 million in cash that Digital World Acquisition had in a trust if no shareholder of the acquisition firm chooses to cash in their shares.