Trump Media's hot market debut brings former President's stake to $4.6B on paper

Former President Trump Addresses International Christian Media Convention

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Former U.S. President Donald Trump saw his wealth potentially balloon on Tuesday after the stellar market debut of his social media company brought his stake in it to about $4.6B on paper.

Shares of Trump Media & Technology (NASDAQ:DJT) advanced more than 16% to end at $57.99 in their Nasdaq debut.

According to regulatory filings, Trump holds 78.75M shares in the company, which means his stake is now valued at approximately $4.57B. Trump’s nearly 60% ownership makes him the company’s largest shareholder.

Trump’s shares are subject to a lock-up agreement of six months, and as much as $1.6B of his stake’s paper wealth is dependent on shares of Trump Media (DJT) meeting performance requirements.

Trump Media’s (DJI) flagship product, Truth Social, has seen about 8.9M signups as of February. The social media platform is a relatively minor player compared to other products such as Meta Platforms’ (META) Facebook and Instagram and Elon Musk’s X (formerly Twitter).

Truth Social owes much of its popularity to Trump, who has among the highest followers on the platform. Trump generally draws avid interest on social media, with 34M followers on Facebook, 24.2M on Instagram and 87.4M on X.

The potential funds from Trump Media’s (DJT) market debut come at a crucial time for the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, who is shelling out millions of dollars per month to fund his legal battles.

Trump had previously faced a Monday deadline to pay a $464M bond penalty that came as a result of civil fraud allegations brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James. However, an appeals court slashed that payment to $175M. Trump also faces other legal challenges such as a $83.3M payout in a defamation case brought by the writer E. Jean Carroll.

Trump was not the only one who gained big from Trump Media’s (DJT) market debut on Tuesday. Devin Nunes, the company’s top boss, holds 115K shares now valued at $6.7M. Nunes was a former U.S. Representative who served in Congress from 2003 to 2022. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2021 for his investigation into the Obama-Biden administration during the 2016 election.

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