On Friday, shares of the blank-check acquisition business that hopes to publicly list former US President Donald Trump’s new social media venture rose again, more than tripling in value despite numerous trading halts due to volatility.
After hitting a high of $175, Digital World Acquisition, a Miami-based special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), closed up 107 percent at $94.20 on Nasdaq.
On the news that it will merge with Trump’s media business to establish a social media programme dubbed TRUTH Social, Digital World stock rose more than 350 percent on Thursday, a day after the transaction was disclosed, giving it a market capitalization of about $1.5 billion.
Its recent trading was reminiscent of earlier this year’s meme stock frenzy, when an army of retail investors banded together on online forums to propel shares of GameStop Corp, AMC Entertainment Holdings, and other firms higher.
“This feels like a meme stock. This looks like AMC and GameStop all over again,” said Joe Saluzzi, co-manager of trading at Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey.
On Thursday, according to data from brokerage Fidelity, Digital World was the most actively traded stock on its platform. It was the most talked-about stock on the trading-focused social media site Stocktwits, which is often used to gauge retail investor interest.
Message volumes relating to the SPAC on Stocktwits increased by more than 9,000 percent.
After Trump supporters rioted at the US embassy, social media companies blocked his accounts.
Capitol on Jan. 6. In a press release announcing the deal, Trump said, “I`m excited to soon begin sharing my thoughts on TRUTH Social and to fight back against Big Tech.”
On Thursday, Digital World surpassed GameStop’s trading volume of 197 million shares during the pinnacle of the meme stock frenzy in January, with nearly 500 million shares traded.
According to Refinitiv statistics, the stock traded approximately 130 million shares on Friday, exceeding the free float of 22.8 million shares.
“There`s a tremendous amount of Trump supporters in the country who are going to just clamor to get some exposure to Donald Trump in whatever way they can,” said Eric Diton, managing director of investment advisory firm The Wealth Alliance.
The shares of at least one other company linked to the Republican former president also saw large gains. Phunware Inc, a software company hired by Trump`s 2020 presidential re-election campaign to build a phone app, had its share price rise as much as 1,471% on Friday. It closed up around 471% at $8.74.
Hedge funds that invested in Digital World are set to make five times their investment, regulatory filings showed, while Patrick Orlando, who backs the SPAC, is likely to see a $420 million windfall from the surge in shares.
But not all were buyers. Hedge fund manager Boaz Weinstein said that he sold his firm Saba Capital Management`s holdings in Digital World early on Thursday as news emerged that it was merging with Trump`s new media venture.
“I knew that for Saba the right thing was to sell our entire stake of unrestricted shares, which we have now done,” Weinstein said in a statement. “Many investors are grappling with hard questions about how to incorporate their values into their work. For us, this was not a close call.”
Trump Media and Technology Group said it would receive $293 million in cash that Digital World had in a trust if no shareholder of the acquisition firm chose to cash in their shares.