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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Former President Trump last night announced plans to launch a digital media network called "Truth Social," and said it would go public via a SPAC called Digital World Acquisition (Nasdaq: DWAC).

What to know: So far, this is a joke. The press release didn't contain even basic information, such as the new company's CEO. In fact, the only execs mentioned are Trump (as chairman) and veteran TV producer Scott St. John as head of a subscription streaming service.

  • There's no PIPE financing disclosed, even though redemptions could eat into Digital World's $293 million in reserves (caveat: the SPAC is soaring in early trading, likely on retail demand from Trump fans).
  • Oh, and there's a mention of the whole thing being worth $1.7 billion, "depending on the performance of the stock price post-business combination" — without any details of what type of stock performance would trigger that "additional earnout," or if it would be Trump himself who benefits.
  • Digital World filed an 8-K this morning with the SEC, but without the customary investor presentation attached.

There is a 22-page pitch-deck on the new website for Trump Media Group, although it's much more sizzle than steak. And it looks very familiar to a deck Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva reported on earlier this year (one slide is actually identical).

  • A "pre-order" option for Truth Social is available in the App Store, with a screenshot that basically looks like reskinned Twitter. The press release says the company plans to launch in early 2022, which means the company would seek to go public without a commercialized product.

About the SPAC: Digital World was formed earlier this year by Patrick Orlando, who has raised several SPACs but has yet to successfully buy a company. He did have one merger signed, with Giga Energy, but it was later terminated.

  • Its CFO is a member of Brazil's National Congress, and an ally of Jair Bolsonaro. There are no women in its exec ranks or on its board.

Spokespeople for Trump and the SPAC declined to comment beyond the press release.

The bottom line: This appears to be a shell company buying a shell company.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Dec 2, 2021 - Economy & Business

Grab's mega-SPAC attack

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Grab on Thursday hopes to become the king of SPACs, no matter how uneasy have been some heads to wear that crown.

Driving the news: Grab, a Singapore-based "super app" maker, today will list on the Nasdaq, via a reverse merger with a SPAC formed by Altimeter Capital. It gives Grab a pro forma equity value of $39.6 billion, the richest price ever afforded in such a transaction.

Trump's PAC has spent $1.4 million in Facebook, Google ads for potential campaign

Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Former President Trump's political action committee, Save America, has spent more than $1.4 million on Facebook and Google ads since March, FWIW reports.

Driving the news: While Trump was banned from posting on various social media platforms, he has managed to work around this as he prepares for the 2024 presidential elections, per the Washington Post.

Elon Musk's mega-billion bounty

Photo: Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Here's how insanely rich Elon Musk is: He has unloaded $10 billion of his stock in the past month — and could do that 15+ more times given his silos of shares.