Coconuts and oranges: Inside Trump’s SPAC deal
Future News 112
What does Brazil’s National Congress, Florida and coconut water have in common? To one extent or another, they all will have played a part in Donald Trump’s social media comeback if the plans of the former US President come to fruition.
The Trump Media & Technology Group Corp (TMTG) is seeking to merge with NASDAQ-listed Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC), a company led by Miami-based serial SPAC sponsor Patrick Orlando as CEO, Luis Orleans-Braganza, a member of Brazil’s National Congress, as CFO and Rodrigo Veloso, the former CEO of ONE Coconut Water, as one of the business’ directors. DWAC was incorporated in December 2020 and went on to raise $287m when it went public in September.
The cash vehicle had a broad remit before announcing its intentions with Trump, noting to investors that:
“While we may pursue an initial business combination target in any industry or geographic location, we intend to focus our search on middle market and emerging growth technology-focused companies in the Americas, in Fintech and Financial Services or SaaS and Technology.”
We now know that Truth Social, with TMTG as its parent company, is that technology business. But what’s next? As part of the proposed business combination between the two entities, DWAC plans to publish a S4-Form with the SEC. This will provide DWAC’s current and potential investors with a lot more information, including details around TMTG’s structure and business plans.
Although there is currently a lack of information surrounding the deal, this has not stopped investors flooding into DWAC stock, pushing the company’s share price up from around $10 per share to just over $94, a hike of around 840%. DWAC now has a market cap of $3bn.
These investors will eventually be asked to vote on the business combination, which, if all goes to plan for Trump and his new partners, will trigger the de-SPACing process, leading to the listing of TMTG or whatever name the combined entity eventually takes. As for the price of the merger, the transaction values TMTG at an initial enterprise value of $875m, according to the company.
The business strategy? To “create a rival to the liberal media consortium and fight back against the ‘Big Tech’ companies of Silicon Valley”, presumably a reference to Twitter and Facebook, the two platforms that have banned Trump.
Truth Social will begin its Beta Launch for invited guests in November, with a nationwide rollout expected in Q1 2022. TMTG also intends to launch a “non-work” subscription video service, TMTG+. It will feature entertainment programming, news, podcasts and other content. Scott St. John, the Executive Producer of “Deal or No Deal” and “America’s Got Talent”, has been named as the leader of TMTG+ Corporate Operations.
Madison Avenue-based EF Hutton, formerly known as Kingswood Capital Markets, is leading as the sole broker on the DWAC-TMTG merger.
💼 Other business
Runners and riders for the next BBC Political Editor as Laura Kuenssberg reportedly seeks to leave the role. Strangely, ITV Deputy Political Editor Anushka Asthana isn’t on any betting lists. Could the role be job-shared and could one of the most influential positions in British broadcasting be split between TV and radio?
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Daily Mail General Trust is claiming that Google and Facebook have become “quasi-regulators” of news.
GB News has appointed Mick Booker as Editorial Director.
Long-time NYT staffer Nick Kristof goes into politics.
Kana Inagaki appointed Tokyo Bureau Chief for the FT.
Emily Sheffield is out as Evening Standard Editor.
No decision yet made on a paywall for Politico.
Sophia Cai is joining Axios’ political team.
WaPo is hiring an innovations reporter.
🎙️ Podcast world
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Ben Evans and Toni Cowan-Brown discuss the metaverse.
A visual way to explore podcasts via Vox Media.
WSJ unveils a new business podcast, Bad Bets.
Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant could sideline traditional radio broadcasters.
Facebook’s Q3 earnings are out today, making the analyst webinar a must listen.
Google, Microsoft and Twitter will report their own figures on Tuesday.
Twitter’s algorithms favour right-leaning content.
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