Trump-Tied SPAC Tumbles After Disclosing Grand Jury Subpoena

(Bloomberg) — Digital World Acquisition Corp., the special purpose acquisition company merging with Trump Media & Technology Group, tumbled after disclosing that a federal grand jury in the Southern District of New York issued subpoenas to the company and members of its board of directors.

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The SPAC slumped 10% at the start of Monday’s trading, opening at the lowest level since the deal was announced last year. Warrants that are tied to the SPAC fell as much as 7% to $7.18 before trimming losses, they traded as high as $79 in October.

The declines come after Digital World said in a filing dated Friday that the information demands and related investigations from the Justice Department and the US Securities and Exchange Commission may delay the planned merger. Representatives for Digital World and Orlando didn’t immediately respond emailed requests for comment.

The subpoenas relate to an inquiry last year from the SEC, the company said. In November, the Wall Street regulator sought records tied to meetings involving the blank-check company’s board of directors, its policies and procedures related to trading and the identities of certain investors.

Digital World shares have been volatile since the merger was first announced in October. The shares soared as high as $175, but have since fallen back down to about $25 as investors digested downloads for Trump’s Truth Social platform and the regulatory issues.

From the start, the planned tie-up has been a lightning rod. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, has called on the SEC to investigate the SPAC over reports that it may have skirted securities rules. She says she’s concerned that the firm’s chief executive officer, Patrick Orlando, may have failed to disclose to investors talks he had with Donald Trump.

Beyond Digital World, the SEC has been ratcheting up scrutiny and tightening rules for the once-hot SPAC market. In one of the latest turns, the agency’s efforts to make banks more liable for the accuracy of SPAC disclosures have prompted major banks to pull back from certain deals.

(Updates with share price starting in second paragraph.)

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