Shares In Truth Social Parent Trim Initial Gains But Still Impress In Nasdaq Debut, Boosting Value Of Donald Trump’s Majority Stake To $4.5B

Shares in Truth Social parent Trump Media & Technology Group gave back most of their initial gains but still posted a strong debut on the Nasdaq, boosting the value of Donald Trump’s majority stake.

The start of trading for the stock, which resulted from a SPAC merger finalized last week, was not accompanied by the usual Wall Street pageantry of an opening-bell ceremony or a gladhanding photo shoot. Still, a surge of initial interest in the stock Tuesday morning prompted market officials to briefly halt trading. Once it resumed, shares eventually cooled off after rising as much as 50%, though they still rose 16% on the day to finish at $57.99.

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At that price, Trump’s roughly 60% stake in the company would be worth about $4.5 billion, a conveniently timed windfall given the former president’s many legal obligations. A judge on Monday gave him a reprieve in a civil fraud case in New York, slashing the amount of his bond payment to $175 million and giving him an additional 10 days to post it. The original $464 million bond had resulted in difficulties securing it and led to speculation that if he were to be unable to post the bond, prosecutors could take steps like seizing Trump properties.

In most IPOs, key stockholders and senior execs are subject to a lock-up period of about six months after the debut of a stock. That restriction, which prevent a shareholder from selling or taking loans against their position in a stock, aims to limit the threat of immediate sales by major stakeholders, which could then trigger a wider sell-off. In Trump’s case, he has the option of appealing to the board of directors of the company for permission to sell some of his shares at an earlier point. The company’s board includes Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump administration officials like Linda McMahon, who was head of the Small Business Administration and also co-founded the WWE along with her husband, Vince McMahon.

Trump has not indicated whether he plans to seek permission for the share sale or another financial transaction aimed at bolstering his position. The Republican presidential nominee does not have an executive title at the company, whose ticker symbol is his initials, DJT.

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