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Digital World CEO urges Donald Trump to push shareholders to vote on merger delay

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DWAC

Homepage and app announcement of “Truth Social.”
Christoph Dernbach | picture alliance | Getty Images

Patrick Orlando, the CEO of the shell company set to take Trump Media and Technology Group public, on Friday urged Donald Trump and Trump Media CEO Devin Nunes to promote an upcoming vote to extend the merger deadline for the two companies.

@realDonaldTrump @DevinNunes let’s get the vote awareness up,” the Digital World Acquisition Corp. chief wrote in a Truth Social post that attached information about the shareholder vote.

Representatives for DWAC and TMTG did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

DWAC stockholders will vote on Oct. 10 to approve an extension to the merger deadline. A similar vote in September failed to garner the necessary 65% investor support. Orlando then injected $2.8 million from his company Arc Global Investments II into a trust for DWAC, helping it stave off liquidation for the moment.

The former president has already hinted at killing the deal to go public and using his own money to finance the media venture. “Who knows? In any event, I don’t need financing, ‘I’m really rich!’ Private company anyone???” Trump wrote in a Truth Social post in early September.

DWAC is a special purpose acquistion company, or SPAC. These so-called blank check companies find businesses to take into public stock markets.

DWAC has until December to complete the merger with Trump Media and take the former president’s company, giving it access to billions of dollars. A successful shareholder vote would extend the deadline by about a year.

Another key deadline for the deal passed in September. Private investors who agreed to provide around $1 billion following the merger are no longer contractually obliged to provide that capital. DWAC reported last week that $138 million of the private investment has already been withdrawn.

These are far from the only issues facing DWAC and Trump Media. The two companies are the subject of a Justice Department probe into possible securities violations relating to conversations that occurred between the company representatives prior to the merger. The Securities and Exchange Commission is also investigating the deal.

Trump Media has said it was exploring legal proceedings against the SEC, saying the regulator has delayed the merger.

The former president is also the subject of multiple investigations of his own. New York Attorney General Letitia James recently announced civil proceedings against him, the Trump Organization and his three eldest kids for fraud. He is also under investigation for his actions relating to the removal of sensitive documents from the White House, his alleged interference in the 2020 presidential election and for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection.

Trump launched Truth Social and Trump Media after he was banned from Twitter and other social media platforms after the riot, when hundreds of his supporters stormed Congress in a failed bid to prevent lawmakers from confirming Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 election.

DWAC closed more than 3% higher at $16.81, but is far off its 2022 high of about $97.

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