Trump social media merger with DWAC appears closer

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    This photo illustration shows an image of former President Donald Trump next to a phone screen that is displaying the Truth Social app, in Washington, DC, on February 21, 2022.

    Stefani Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images

    Shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp. jumped 16% on Thursday after the special purpose acquisition company announced Wednesday night that it is close to completing its proposed merger with Trump Media and Technology Group, former President Donald Trump’s social media company.

    The Securities and Exchange Commission declared the registration statement for DWAC’s combination with Trump’s media group to be effective after markets closed Wednesday.

    DWAC said that this week it will announce a date for shareholders to vote on the merger in light of approval for the S-4 Form.

    “We are immensely proud of the strides we’ve taken towards advancing the business combination…This achievement marks a significant milestone for us,” DWAC CEO Eric Swider said in a press release.

    That SPAC first began merger talks with Trump’s media group, which operates the Truth Social platform, in October 2021.

    But the proposed combination has been pushed back several times amid challenges that included investigations by the Department of Justice and the SEC.

    Last June, Florida investor Michael Shvartsman and two other men were charged in New York federal court with insider trading related to the merger.

    Shvartsman last week was hit with a new money laundering count related to transfers he allegedly conducted after netting a profit of $18.2 million from selling DWAC stock. He and the other defendants have pleaded not guilty.

    Shares of DWAC have rallied in recent months as Trump has emerged as the likely Republican nominee for president in November.

    The stock is up almost 200% since the start of the year.

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