Many People and Companies Have Made Millions on Trump Media’s Stock

Shares of former President Donald J. Trump’s social media company continued to surge on Wednesday, extending the gains on its first official trading session on the Nasdaq the day before.

After another double-digit percentage gain, the parent of Truth Social approached $9 billion in market value, a windfall for insiders awarded shares in the company.

The biggest beneficiary is Mr. Trump, the company’s largest shareholder, whose stake is worth more than $5 billion, on paper. No other shareholder comes close, according to regulatory filings, but many of Trump Media’s executives have seen their net worth swell this week, in some cases by many millions of dollars.

Trump Media stake: More than $7 million

The former Republican congressman from California who became chief executive of Trump Media in 2022.

More than $30 million

A former fitness company executive who serves as Trump Media’s chief financial officer and has the biggest holding among the company’s leaders.

About $3 million

The company’s chief technology officer, formerly an executive at Cosmic Development, a Canadian IT support services company.

More than $1 million

The chief operating officer who was a previous executive at Parler, the social networking service.

More than $1 million

The general counsel, previously an acting under secretary for policy at the Department of Homeland Security serving Mr. Trump.

More than $12 million

The chief executive of the public shell company known as Digital World that merged with Trump Media this week; he is now a member of Trump Media’s seven-member board of directors.

The bullishness around Trump Media has been driven by the enthusiasm of individual investors and Trump supporters, rather than investment firms and hedge funds. The company’s lofty valuation stands in contrast to its relatively small operations, with $3.3 million in revenue in the first nine months of last year.

Other major shareholders include the earliest promoters of the merger deal.

The original sponsor of Digital World and its initial public offering, the investment firm ARC Global, holds a stake worth more than $700 million. ARC Global is headed by Patrick Orlando, a former chief executive of Digital World.

ARC Global has a mix of investors, none of whom have been publicly disclosed. But regulatory filings by Digital World showed that non-U.S. citizens had a roughly 17 percent stake in the firm. The filings noted that ARC Global includes investors from Guatemala, El Salvador, Brazil, Peru and Mexico.

Mr. Orlando, for a time, had been a senior adviser to ARC Group, a Hong Kong-based financier that had been an adviser to Digital World when the special purpose acquisition company was being established. It is not clear if any of the principals of ARC Group has a financial interest in ARC Global.

United Atlantic Ventures holds a stake in Trump Media worth about $500 million. The firm is controlled by Wes Moss and Andy Litinsky, former contestants on Mr. Trump’s reality television show “The Apprentice,” who approached the former president in early 2021, shortly after he left the White House, about starting a social media company. They were early participants in talks that ultimately led to the merger of Trump Media and Digital World.

Mr. Orlando, Mr. Litinsky and Mr. Moss are in court fighting over their stakes in Trump Media. Mr. Orlando has said that he and the shell company’s sponsor group are entitled to more shares. Mr. Litinsky and Mr. Moss have filed a lawsuit claiming Trump Media is trying to diminish their stake.

Both lawsuits are pending in Delaware Chancery Court.

Mr. Trump and other major Trump Media shareholders are barred from selling their shares for at least six months, or pledging them as collateral for loans. Trump Media’s board, which is filled with loyalists to Mr. Trump, including his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., could waive those restrictions.

Any significant selling of shares by Mr. Trump or other big shareholders has the potential to depress Trump Media’s share price and cut the value of the sellers’ holdings.

Major investors or institutions that own less than 5 percent of a public company are not required to disclose stock sales and purchases,until 45 days after the end of a quarter. That means any major institutions that traded shares of Digital World or Trump Media over the past few weeks would not be required to publicly disclose their holdings until the middle of May.

At the end of December, the biggest institutional investor in shares of Digital World was Susquehanna International Group, the Wall Street trading firm owned by Jeffrey Yass, the billionaire investor and major Republican donor. His firm owned about 2 percent of Digital World’s shares at the end of last year.

It is unclear whether Susquehanna still owns shares in the company that became Trump Media. Susquehanna has said that it serves as a market maker — facilitating the trading of stocks — and “has zero economic interest in Trump Media.”

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