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EXCLUSIVE: Trump’s media deal partner nears $50 million financing

Photo of Trump
The Truth social network logo is seen on a smartphone in front of a display of former U.S. President Donald Trump in this picture illustration taken February 21, 2022. (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo)
By Anirban Sen | REUTERS

Digital World Acquisition Corp, the blank-check acquisition company that has agreed to take former U.S. President Donald Trump’s social media platform public, is nearing a $50 million financing deal, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The deal, which could be announced in the next few days, is based on convertible notes and will help fund DWAC while it tries to complete its merger with Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), owner of social media platform Truth Social, the sources said.

DWAC shares ended trading on Thursday up 4.4% at $47.66 on the news. They are up almost threefold since Jan. 15 — when Trump won the Iowa caucus on his way to the Republican nomination for president — as investors bet that his re-emergence as a major political figure will make Truth Social more valuable.

Investment firms Anson Funds, All Blue Capital and Mangrove Partners have offered to buy the convertible notes on offer, the sources added, cautioning that the timing and composition of the deal may still change.

The sources requested anonymity because details of the deal discussions are confidential. DWAC Chief Executive Eric Swider declined to comment. Representatives for Anson Funds, All Blue Capital and Mangrove Partners did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

DWAC had disclosed last month it was raising $50 million in convertible notes after cancelling a $1 billion private-investment-in-public-equity (PIPE) transaction.

DWAC agreed to merge with TMTG in October 2021 but failed to complete the deal by a September 2022 deadline, as U.S. financial regulators scrutinized DWAC’s disclosures to investors. That gave the PIPE investors the right to cancel their commitments.

An amendment of TMTG’s deal with DWAC last August called for unwinding the PIPE and gave Trump new shares in DWAC with more voting power. DWAC has been left with close to $300 million in funds it raised with its initial public offering in 2021, but that money is earmarked to go to TMTG once their merger gets completed.

DWAC has faced several challenges in its bid to complete the deal with TMTG. It has been the target of investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), replaced its chief executive and shook up its board.

In September, DWAC investors voted to give an extension of up to one year to complete the TMTG deal. DWAC is now waiting for clearance from the SEC to allow its shareholders to vote on the merger with TMTG.

DWAC has said it expects to draw $10 million from the $50 million convertible note raise for its immediate use and tap the remainder on completing its deal with DWAC.

Editor’s Note: Reporting by Anirban Sen in New York; Additional reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss in Rhode Island; Editing by Mark Porter and Josie Kao

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