DAILY COVER
|Nov 1, 2021,06:30am EDT|44,848 views

DESIGN BY FORBESDan AlexanderForbes StaffBillionairesSenior editor at Forbes, covering Donald Trump’s business.

The future is unclear for Donald Trump. On the one hand, a grand jury has already accused the Trump Organization of committing a series of crimes, and rumor has it that more indictments are coming. On the other hand, the real estate tycoon might run for president again in 2024.

His new venture, the Trump Media and Technology Group, is planning for both possibilities. Buried in an 86-page merger agreement released last week, the Trump Media and Technology Group said the former president’s position and ownership would be structured in order to maintain continuity at the company if a “material disruptive event” were to occur. The document goes on to define a “material disruptive event” as one of two things: either Trump (a) running for office or (b) being personally convicted of a felony.

The exact nature of the structure remains unclear. Spokespeople for the former president did not respond to questions. A representative of the special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, merging with Trump’s business declined to comment on anything related to the business: “Unfortunately, at this time, we are not accepting press questions for interviews.”https://5b15d945f5a486c6dd530486881fc460.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

There have been some hints at Trump’s role. A company press release describes him as the “chairman.” The merger agreement calls him the “company principal.” A different document refers to a “majority stockholder,” without saying who it is. A slide deck released last week really only features one person, Donald Trump, but it comes with a strange “personnel disclosure” on the final page. “Please do not rely on any personnel listed in the deck,” the fine print says. “Some personnel may or may not be in a consulting phase subject to a contractual employment agreement; there is no guarantee whatsoever that such employment agreement will be finalized. Companies are cautioned not to rely on listed personnel, nor does [the Trump Media and Technology Group] give any assurances regarding listed personnel.”

SOURCE: https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1849635/000119312521308146/d230221dex21.htm
Passages from a merger agreement submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission make clear that Donald Trump’s newest venture is planning for his unpredictable future. DESIGN BY FORBES

Trump’s status won’t remain a mystery forever. In a Tuesday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the SPAC helping Trump’s business go public said it would file another document explaining the names and interests of the directors and officers behind the Trump Media and Technology Group.

Helming a public company could be challenging for the former president, given all the rules that come with it. Trump previously led such a business, Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts. Shareholders sued after he used the publicly traded company to buy a casino he personally owned at a suspiciously high valuation. Trump fought the allegations for a half decade, then settled around 2002 without admitting wrongdoing. As part of the settlement, he agreed to a new set of rules on corporate governance, including one that required a special committee to approve deals involving Trump’s other businesses.

“If Trump is really an officer or director of this company, as opposed to a licensor of his name or something like that, I expect he will be on the wrong end of a securities-fraud suit before long,” says Michael Klausner, a business and law professor at Stanford. “I can’t imagine him being any more truthful about his business than he is about anything else. Especially when it comes to size—the company, his following on the platform, crowds or other size-related facts—he just makes it up.”

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