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Many people and companies have made millions from the actions of the Trump media

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

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

The biggest beneficiary is 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 Trump Media executives saw their net worth increase this week, in some cases by millions of dollars.

Devin Nunes
Trump Media stake: more than $7 million

Former Republican Congressman from California who became CEO of Trump Media in 2022.

Philippe Juhan
More than 30 million dollars Former fitness company executive, CFO of Trump Media, and holder of the largest ownership stake among the company’s executives.

Vladimir Novachki
About $3 million

Chief Technology Officer of the company, former executive at Cosmic Development, a Canadian IT support services company.

Andrew Northwall
More than a million dollars

The COO who was a former executive at Parler, a social networking service.

Scott Glabe
More than a million dollars

The general counsel, previously acting undersecretary for policy at the Department of Homeland Security under Trump.

Eric Swider
More than 12 million dollars

The CEO 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 optimism around Trump Media has been driven by the enthusiasm of individual investors and Trump supporters, rather than that of investment firms and hedge funds. The company’s high valuation contrasts with its relatively modest business, with revenue of $3.3 million in the first nine months of last year.

Other major shareholders include the original sponsors of the merger agreement.

The original sponsor of Digital World and its IPO, investment firm ARC Global, has a stake worth more than $700 million. ARC Global is led by Patrick Orlando, former CEO of Digital World.

ARC Global has a mix of investors, none of which have been made public. But a regulatory filing in August by Digital World showed that non-U.S. citizens had about a 17% stake in the company. The documents indicate that ARC Global includes investors from Guatemala, El Salvador, Brazil, Peru and Mexico.

Orlando, for a time, had been a senior advisor to the ARC Group, a Hong Kong-based financier that had been an advisor to Digital World during the creation of the special purpose acquisition company. It is unclear whether any of the ARC Group executives have a financial interest in ARC Global.

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

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

Both lawsuits are pending in Delaware Chancery Court.

Trump and other major shareholders of Trump Media are barred from selling their shares for at least six months, or pledging them as collateral for loans. Trump Media’s board of directors, made up of Trump loyalists, including his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., could lift these restrictions.

Any significant sales of stock by Donald Trump or other large shareholders are likely to depress Trump Media’s stock price and reduce the value of the sellers’ holdings.

Large investors or institutions that own less than 5% of a public company are not required to disclose their stock sales and purchases until 45 days after the end of a quarter. This means that large institutions that traded shares of Digital World or Trump Media in recent weeks will not be required to publicly disclose their holdings until mid-May.

As of late December, the largest institutional investor in Digital World stock was Susquehanna International Group, a Wall Street trading firm owned by billionaire investor and top Republican donor Jeffrey Yass. His company owned about 2% 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 said she acted as a market maker — facilitating stock trading — and “had no economic interest in Trump Media.”

This article was originally published in the New York Times.

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