By Dean Seal

 

Shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp., the special-purpose acquisition company aiming to merge with Donald Trump's media company, are trading higher after the company resolved a regulatory investigation with an $18 million fine.

The stock is up 20% at $16.15 in premarket trading. At Thursday's close, shares were down 11% since the start of the year and had fallen 59% over the past 12 months.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said late Thursday that DWAC will pay the fine if it completes a combination with Trump Media & Technology Group.

The agency had alleged that DWAC misled investors who participated in its $287 million initial public offering in 2021. The blank-check company told investors that it didn't have discussions with a merger target prior to raising money, but its officers had extensive merger discussions with Trump's company, the SEC said.

DWAC first disclosed the likely settlement in early July, though the SEC hadn't approved the deal yet.

The settlement clears one hurdle for DWAC's merger with Trump Media & Technology, which will become publicly traded if the SPAC tie-up is closed. The two parties have until September to complete the combination.

If the deal doesn't close in time, DWAC will have to return the millions it raised to investors. If it does so by January 2025, the SEC will waive its penalty.

 

Write to Dean Seal at dean.seal@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 21, 2023 07:22 ET (11:22 GMT)

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