Paul Hastings advises on Trump-linked Truth Social SPAC merger

Nelson Mullins also advised on the deal, which propelled the value of Trump’s Truth Social stake to $4.6bn

Donald Trump Evan El-Amin /

US firm Paul Hastings was among the law firms advising on the merger between the owner of Donald Trump-backed social media platform Truth Social and blank-cheque company Digital World Acquisition Corp.

Paul Hastings advised Digital World, a special purpose acquisition vehicle (SPAC), on its purchase of Trump Media & Technology Group Corp (TMTG), which owns Truth Social. Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough advised TMTG.

Following the merger, Digital World now operates as TMTG. Shares in Trump’s social media business rose 16% on its first day of trading on Tuesday, valuing Trump’s stake at $4.6bn, according to the Financial Times. However, the terms of the deal prevent him from selling the shares for six months unless the board agrees to waive that provision.

The social media platform, which was created in 2022, has yet to turn a profit, losing $49m in the first nine months of last year and generating just $3.4m in revenue, according to the FT. Tuesday’s share price jump values the social media business at about $12bn, the FT said.

SPACs are shell companies that raise money from investors through an initial public offering and then use that money to buy other businesses, earning them the sobriquet blank-cheque companies. SPAC issuance boomed during the pandemic, with 613 US SPAC deals inked in 2021. That number fell to just 31 last year, according to SPAC Analytics data.

Devin Nunes, CEO of TMTG, said: “As a public company, we will passionately pursue our vision to build a movement to reclaim the internet from Big Tech censors.”

Bloomberg reported that Brad Bondi, co-chair of Paul Hastings’ global litigation and white collar investigations practice, was part of the team advising Digital World. Corporate partner Brandon Bortner and corporate and capital markets lawyers Gil Savir and Maria Larsen also advised the SPAC, according to securities filings.

Bondi’s sister Pam Bondi is a former Florida attorney general who leads the Florida chapter of pro-Trump think tank America First Policy Institute, Bloomberg reported.

The deal comes amid a period of mounting legal issues for former president Trump. Among them, he faces a criminal trial starting next month related to alleged hush-money payments made to an adult movie star.

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