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CEO behind Trump’s Truth Social IPO begs small investors for support: source

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The boss of the corporate trying to take Donald Trump’s Truth Social app public has personally been canvassing small retail investors in a desperate bid to maintain the deal alive, The Post has learned.

Patrick Orlando, CEO of Digital World Acquisition Corp., has been picking up the phone and calling investors with as few as 20 shares each to induce them to vote for the deal, in line with sources near the situation.

Orlando — who has been forced to reschedule the vote six times — now believes he has the votes to consummate the merger, these people add. Orlando reportedly has scheduled a live interview with the IPO Edge media service for Nov. 22 — the day of the shareholder vote.

Orlando previously put $3 million into the deal in September to maintain DWAC from liquidating after failing to get a vote approving the extension. If he doesn’t win the Nov. 22 vote, Orlando could deposit one other $3 million by Dec. 8 to maintain DWAC operating one other three months because it waits for SEC approval to purchase Truth Social.

If the deal is approved by shareholders and the SEC finally clears it, it’ll infuse the money-losing social-network with $1.25 billion in money. Voting for the deal can be in shareholder’s interests: DWAC’s shares are trading above $20 and they might receive just $10 each if the deal is liquidated.

Truth Social’s future is uncertain, sources told The Post.AFP via Getty Images

It’s in Trump’s interest, too: Faced with a Twitter ban and increasing disinterest from TV networks, Truth Social could also be his best platform as he mounts a 2024 presidential bid.

Nevertheless, Trump has backed away from promoting Truth Social’s merger. Late last yr, the Securities and Exchange Commission, which launched a probe into whether DWAC’s founders had advance knowledge of its goal company before listing its shares in September 2021 — a violation of securities laws. Insiders imagine Trump, already under investigation over the Jan. 6 riots, desires to avoid one more fight with the feds.

That presents a troublesome climb for DWAC, which needs 65% of shareholders to approve extending the merger deadline.

A spokesperson for DWAC didn’t reply to a request for comment.

“DWAC is unlike another SPAC on the market,” Matthew Tuttle, Chief Executive of Tuttle Capital Management, told The Post. “Other SPACs typically have investors who know the deal inside out whereas DWAC has a majority of investors with just 50 or 100 shares.”

Patrick orlandoDWAC honcho Patrick Orlando has called investors with as few as 20 shares to ask them to approve the deal, The Post has learned.DWAC

SPACs are shell firms that raise money in the general public markets after which use that cash to merge with a personal company and take it public. If the SPAC can’t consummate a deal, it must return all of the funds to investors.

Because the clock is ticking towards the liquidation date, the likelihood of getting the deal done decreases. Trump has also previously considered merging Truth Social with other conservative “free speech” platforms like Rumble and Parler.

“When people get proxies within the mail they throw it out, once they get calls from proxy firms they ignore it,” a source near the situation said. “It’s difficult to get retail shareholders to follow through — this is much beyond hiring a proxy firm.”

Elsewhere, in a less positive sign, regulatory filings revealed on Wednesday that DWAC board member Justin Shaner was quitting the board.

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