By Svea Herbst-Bayliss
NEW YORK (Reuters) -Investors in the blank-check acquisition company that plans to merge with former U.S. President Donald Trump’s social media firm on Tuesday voted to approve an extension of the time Digital World Acquisition Corp has to complete a deal.
After several delays, enough shareholders agreed to give DWAC until September 2023 to finalize its plans, handing a victory to DWAC and its chief executive Patrick Orlando who had spent months trying to woo shareholders into voting.
DWAC shares jumped on news of the approval and were trading at $23.42, up 8.60% after the meeting was ended.
DWAC shareholders are mainly retail investors who are not accustomed to voting their shares and the process to reach the 65% support that was required to get another year to complete the deal with Trump’s platform has been long. Tuesday’s meeting was scheduled after Orlando extended the Nov. 3 meeting to give investors more time.
On Sept. 26, DWAC had only 43% of shareholders’ approval, according to a document seen by Reuters.
At stake is a $1.3 billion cash infusion that Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) which operates Trump’s Truth Social app, stands to receive from DWAC. DWAC inked a deal in October 2021 to take TMTG public.
But the process has been complicated by investigations probing whether the company backed by Trump broke securities regulations.
Since the last time Orlando delayed the vote Trump has announced that he plans to make another bid for the White House in 2024 and Twitter chief Elon Musk said that he is removing the ban on the former president’s Twitter account.
But Trump signaled that he has no interest in returning to the platform.
(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss with additional reporting by Echo WangEditing by Tomasz Janowski)