Jeff Yass, the billionaire Wall Road financier and Republican megadonor who’s a serious investor within the guardian firm of TikTok, was additionally the most important institutional shareholder of the shell firm that not too long ago merged with former President Donald J. Trump’s social media firm.

A December regulatory submitting confirmed that Mr. Yass’s buying and selling agency, Susquehanna Worldwide Group, owned about 2 p.c of Digital World Acquisition Corp., which merged with Trump Media & Know-how Group on Friday. That stake, of about 605,000 shares, was value about $22 million based mostly on Digital World’s final closing share value.

It’s unclear if Susquehanna nonetheless owns these shares, as a result of massive buyers disclose their holdings to regulators solely periodically. But when it did retain its stake, Mr. Yass’s agency would grow to be certainly one of Trump Media’s bigger institutional shareholders when it begins buying and selling this week following the merger.

Shares of Digital World have surged about 140 p.c this yr because the merger with the guardian firm of Fact Social, Mr. Trump’s social media platform, drew nearer and Mr. Trump grew to become the presumptive Republican nominee for president.

“Susquehanna is a market maker and has zero financial curiosity in Trump Media,” stated the corporate in a press release. “The agency’s lengthy place is offset by brief positions of the identical measurement.”

Regulatory filings present the agency used offsetting securities to attempt to decrease its features or losses within the inventory.

The corporate assertion didn’t touch upon whether or not the agency nonetheless owned a stake in Digital World, or on the connection between Mr. Yass and Mr. Trump.

Mr. Yass has been within the information not too long ago for a number of causes. An enormous contributor to Republican candidates and political motion committees that help libertarian and conservative causes, together with the Membership for Progress, Mr. Yass’s agency can be an enormous shareholder in ByteDance, TikTok’s guardian firm. The U.S. funding companies Susquehanna, BlackRock and Normal Atlantic and others personal 60 p.c of ByteDance.

This month, the Home handed a invoice to pressure ByteDance to promote TikTok, the Chinese language-controlled social media firm.

The Club for Growth has sought to foyer Republicans in Congress to oppose any try and ban TikTok if it was nonetheless managed by China, and Mr. Yass has helped the conservative group fund that effort. (The Membership for Progress had opposed Mr. Trump’s re-election marketing campaign, however appears to have reconciled with him.)

Mr. Trump had supported banning TikTok in the US, however he not too long ago reversed his stance. A number of weeks in the past, he acknowledged having a brief meeting with Mr. Yass — recognized in a 2022 Wall Street Journal column as a “by no means Trumper” — however stated the 2 males by no means mentioned TikTok.

An individual near Mr. Trump’s marketing campaign stated that Mr. Yass was anticipated to offer a big donation to a bunch supporting the previous president’s political marketing campaign.

Susquehanna, which facilitates trades in 1000’s of shares utilizing mathematical fashions, isn’t the one agency that stands to become profitable on Digital World. In February, Digital World disclosed that it raised $50 million from a bunch of institutional buyers to cowl bills associated to the merger. The buyers lent the corporate cash that may be transformed into shares. The buyers within the deal have but to be disclosed.

General, hedge funds and buying and selling companies owned round 5 p.c of Digital World’s 30 million shares excellent on the finish of final yr. The overwhelming majority of Digital World’s roughly 400,000 shareholders are particular person buyers, lots of them supporters of Mr. Trump.

The surge within the value of Digital World shares this yr has boosted the worth of Mr. Trump’s 79-million-share stake in Trump Media by billions of {dollars}. Mr. Trump can be being issued a category of shares that can give him at the very least 55 p.c voting energy over all shareholder measures.

The merger was finalized simply earlier than Mr. Trump’s Monday deadline to safe a bond to cowl a $454 million penalty imposed by a choose in a civil fraud case.

The previous president’s Trump Media shares might present him with a monetary lifeline to boost the money wanted to get a bond. However to do this, he wants Trump Media’s seven-member board to take away a restriction that stops him from promoting shares or utilizing shares as collateral for a bond for the subsequent six months.

The board contains Mr. Trump’s eldest son, Donald Jr., and three former members of his administration: Kash Patel, who was the chief of employees to Mr. Trump’s performing secretary of protection; the previous U.S. commerce consultant Robert Lighthizer; and Linda McMahon, a former administrator of the Small Enterprise Administration.

Ms. McMahon is a chair of an enormous fund-raiser for Mr. Trump scheduled for April 6 in Palm Seashore, Fla., in response to a duplicate of the invitation. The occasion is co-hosted by John Paulson, the billionaire investor, and contains a variety of Wall Road financiers as chairs. Mr. Yass is just not talked about as certainly one of them.

Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.



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