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Trump to receive 36 million additional shares of Truth Social parent company, worth $1.17 billion

Former President Donald Trump has met the requirement to receive up to 36 million additional shares of Trump Media, worth $1.17 billion at Tuesday's close.

The earnout bonus, a potential for a future windfall, if the company meets financial goals, is a provision in the merger agreement with Digital World Acquisition Corp., according to an SEC filing. It states Trump is entitled to the additional shares if the stock price stays above certain thresholds for 20 days out of any 30 trading days.

Trump already owned 60% of the company with 78.75 million shares. Even though the DJT stock price nosedived a few weeks after debuting on the stock market, it has stayed well above the $17.50 per share threshold in its 20 trading days. The lowest it has been since its March 26 debut is $22.84 per share on April 16.

The influx of more than a billion dollars to Trump's wealth comes as he sits trial in Manhattan for 34 counts of falsifying business records.

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Trump Media stock price

At close on April 29, Trump Media & Technology Group Corp. shares rose to $46.69, up 12.4% from the previous close.

How parent company of Truth Social went public

Trump founded his social media company in 2021 after being booted from other major platforms following the January 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.

Trump Media went public on the Nasdaq on March 26, 2024 through a merger with shell company Digital World Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. The merger was announced in 2021.

Trump's debut on the stock market was splashy, with Trump Media shares soaring, helped partly by – and to the delight of – his loyal MAGA supporters.

But regulatory filings show the company was operating at a loss in 2023, making approximately $4 million in revenue while losing more than $58 million. Accounting firm BF Borgers CPA PC said in a letter to Trump Media shareholders the operating losses “raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.”

Experts have told USA TODAY they expect the stock's price to remain volatile.

Trump's legal cases come with mounting price tag

Trump Media share prices have fallen significantly since it went public, coming down more than 60% by April 15, the first day of his first of four criminal trials.

Trump also was ordered to pay a combined $537 million across two civil cases earlier this year, both of which he is appealing.

At one point, the Trump Media shares were a potential source of funding to make those payments.

But in April, he posted a reduced bond of $175 million fronted by California billionaire Don Hankey to prevent his assets from being seized in a fraud case.

Contributing: Bailey Schulz, Jessica Guynn, Jeanine Santucci; USA TODAY

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: As Truth Social stock over $17.50, Trump gets 36 million shares