Former president Donald Trump’s social media startup is rising ahead of its first session as a publicly traded company after the most high-profile blank-check deal in years.

Trump Media & Technology Group Corp gained 20 per cent in early premarket trading Tuesday after completing a merger with Digital World Acquisition Corp. The deal gives the parent company of Truth Social more than $275 million of much-needed capital, and provides a windfall on paper for Trump as he faces a mounting series of legal and financial woes.

Should DWAC shares stay near current levels, Trump’s shares may ultimately be worth more than $6 billion. They would be subject to a six-month lock-up agreement, however, as well as performance requirements that may temporarily hinder his ability to monetize the stock and ease his present cash crunch.

The company’s listing on the Nasdaq under the symbol DJT will test Trump’s ability to capture the attention of individual traders and momentum investors who use it as a way to bet on his push for re-election. Its operations have so far struggled to generate a profit, losing $49 million in the nine months through September while delivering just $3.4 million in revenue.

More stories like this are available on