Sunday, January 23, 2022

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Trump’s Social Media business worth an estimated $10bn

Over the course of 75 years, Donald Trump amassed a pile of assets—skyscrapers, hotels, golf courses and so on—worth an estimated $2.5 billion, after subtracting debt. Then, in practically no time at all, he conjured up a new business, the Trump Media and Technology Group, which hasn’t done much yet but plans to launch a social media company and various other ventures. Investors are already suggesting it’s worth about $10 billion.

The people valuing Trump’s enterprise at this price are everyday stock pickers. They still can’t purchase shares in the Trump Media and Technology Group, but they can buy stock in a pile of cash—also known as a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC—that plans to merge with Trump’s business. News of the merger sent shares in the SPAC soaring from about $10 to $60 apiece over the last four weeks.

If the stock remains at $60, the SPAC shareholders will be left with an estimated $2.2 billion interest in the combined company after the merger. Investors in 15 million warrants tied to the SPAC will be sitting on another $300 million. The current owners of Trump’s company—it’s not yet clear what the former president’s personal interest is in the business—will receive an estimated 86 million shares as part of the deal, worth $5.1 billion. And, assuming shares consistently stay above $30 over the course of about a month and a half after the merger, the owners of Trump’s group will receive an additional 40 million shares, worth $2.4 billion at today’s prices. In total, that all adds up to $10 billion.

Investors seem to be banking on Trump’s enormous following. Before he was booted from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the wake of the January 6 insurrection, Trump amassed nearly 150 million followers on the platforms, as the investor deck for his new company proudly points out. In a poll conducted last month, for Politico and Morning Consult, 37% of voters said they would engage with a Trump-backed platform “some” or “a lot.”

For a business with no working product and no real financial history, those figures count for something. Twitter, which says it can show ads to about 211 million users per day, currently has an enterprise value of $40 billion. In other words, investors value the social media giant at about $189 for every person it can show ads to on a daily basis. If one third of Trump’s 89 million Twitter followers become daily users of his new platform—and investors value his company like Twitter’s—then the Trump Media and Technology Group would theoretically be worth $5.6 billion.

If Trump attracts a higher percentage of his former followers, the numbers would, of course, get bigger. If, say, 50% turn into daily users, Trump’s business could defend an $8.4 billion valuation. An even larger figure doesn’t sound crazy to Mark Zgutowicz, a stock analyst that covers Twitter and the Fox Corp. for Rosenblatt Securities. “You could easily get to a $9 billion to $10 billion valuation,” he says.

At this point, though, the Trump Media and Technology Group still needs to build a working product. The company revealed plans for its Twitter knockoff, named Truth Social, last month. But almost immediately, pranksters reportedly infiltrated what appeared to be an early version of the site. One person uploaded a video of a defecating pig under the name “donaldjtrump.” Shortly thereafter, the site was taken offline.

Culled from Forbes

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