Trump Sees $4 Billion Windfall From Deal With Megadonor-Tied Firm

Billionaire Republican megadonor Jeff Yass' trading firm was a large investor in the acquisition company that sent Trump's paper fortune soaring.

Trump Sees $4 Billion Windfall From Deal With Megadonor-Tied Firm
 Donald Trump's social media platform Truth Social is shown on a tablet (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Donald Trump’s net worth soared by billions of dollars after his social media company merged with an acquisition company whose largest institutional shareholder was the firm of billionaire Republican megadonor Jeff Yass. 

The merger, approved Friday, increased the former President Trump’s paper fortune by more than $4 billion today, vaulting Trump onto Bloomberg’s list of the world’s 500 wealthiest people for the first time. The figure is based on the current stock price of Digital World Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that owns shares in scores of companies. Trump will hold 78.8 million shares of the merged company, which will be listed starting tomorrow on the NASDAQ under the ticker “DJT.” In addition to benefiting allies like former Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, the media company’s CEO, Trump is in line for $1.5 billion more in stock if the share price rises.

As of a December regulatory filing, the New York Times reported that a Yass-owned trading firm Susquehanna International Group controlled about 2 percent of the SPAC, a stake worth around $22 million. The Times said it is unknown if Susquehanna still owns the shares.

The merger stands out because the Trump Media & Technology Group, which owns the social media platform Truth Social, reported just $3.7 million in revenue in the first nine months of 2023 and "expects to incur significant losses into the foreseeable future,” according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fortuitous deal comes as Trump faces a deadline to cover a civil fraud judgment, in an amount that was just reduced to $175 million. Trump would need the approval of the company’s board to sell off his shares before a six-month holding period, though dumping shares would risk devaluing the company’s stock.

Yass, whose net worth is as much as $27 billion according to Forbes, is in the midst of a lobbying push over the fate of TikTok, in whose parent company ByteDance his firm has a stake worth $33 billion. This month, the New York Post reported that Yass was calling Republican members of Congress to try to put on ice legislation that would force ByteDance to sell the app or leave the U.S. That bill flew through the lower chamber in a bipartisan vote on March 13 of 352 to 65