DJT: Trump receives 36 million shares of Trump Media worth $1.8 billion as earnout bonus

Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as he arrives to Trump tower during the day of his trial over charges that he falsified business records to conceal money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016, in New York City, U.S. , April 19, 2024. 

Eduardo Munoz | Reuters

Former President Donald Trump received 36 million more shares of Trump Media Technology Group on Friday, according to a newly filed disclosure Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The shares were part of a contractual “earnout bonus” that Trump’s eponymous media company agreed to shortly before it went public in March.

At Tuesday’s closing price of $49.93, Trump’s newly awarded shares were worth around $1.8 billion, although he is prohibited from selling them until a six-month lockup period expires.

The additional shares bring Trump’s total in the newly public company to 114,750,000. At Tuesday’s closing price, their value on paper is over $5.7 billion.

The windfall for Trump comes as Trump Media’s stock price has rocketed up 50% in the past seven days, after weeks of sharp declines following its Nasdaq debut on March 26.

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The shares were transferred to Trump as a reward for keeping the stock price above $17.50 for 20 straight trading days.

The contract was originally written with three benchmarks that stretched over 36 months, and awarded in chunks of 9 million shares at a time. But the stock price was never at serious risk of missing any of them, so all three tranches, for a total of 36 million shares, were awarded at once.

Trump Media’s representatives had refused to confirm or deny that Trump would be awarded the stock when contacted last week by CNBC, but Tuesday’s simple filing serves as a confirmation.

The former president was already the biggest shareholder of the company, which owns the Truth Social app, a social media platform created to host Trump and his supporters after he was banned from Twitter and Facebook in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

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