With shares of Trump SPAC Digital World Acquisition Corp. soaring, a slew of hedge funds that previously reported owning shares in the company stand to win big — and at least one has already cashed in.
DWAC is a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, otherwise known as a blank-check firm, that went public last month to raise money for an acquisition of a private company, which will then take the SPAC’s place on the public markets.
On Wednesday evening, DWAC announced it plans to merge with former President Donald Trump’s new social media company, Trump Media & Technology Group, sparking a retail trading-driven frenzy that’s sent the stock as much as 1,100 percent higher since then.
And while amateur traders appear to be driving the stock up, a slew of institutional Wall Street firms stand to win big, according to financial disclosures.
At least 14 major hedge funds either bought a major stake in the SPAC as an anchor investor or later purchased shares of the company after its IPO — but prior to the announced deal with Trump, disclosures reveal.
At least one, Lighthouse Investment Partners, sold its unrestricted stake in the company since learning of the merger with Trump’s company, The Post first reported.
“Lighthouse was not aware of the pending merger and no longer holds unrestricted shares of the SPAC,” a spokesperson for the firm said, declining to comment on exactly when they sold the shares.
The firm has some shares that can’t be sold until the end of a lockup period, a source close to the firm confirmed.
Lighthouse previously owned 3.2 million shares, or a more than 11 percent stake in the SPAC, according to a Sept. 30 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Another, Saba Capital Management, which at one time owned more than 2.4 million, or 9.3 percent of the company, also dumped its holdings of unrestricted shares Thursday morning for a small profit, according to The New York Times.
Other hedge funds that previously bought shares of the SPAC or were so-called anchor investors in the SPAC ahead of its IPO and stand to win big from the recent rally include: DE Shaw, Castle Creek Strategies, Context Capital Management, Hudson Bay Capital Management, Yakira Capital Management, Meteora Capital Partners, Highbridge Capital Management, Radcliffe Capital Management, K2 Principal Fund, Shaolin Capital Management, Atw Spac Management and Boothbay Fund Management.
Highbridge, which on Sept. 16 reported owning almost 7 percent of DWAC, declined to comment. The others did not immediately return The Post’s request for comment.
Another fund, which is listed as the sponsor of DWAC, is ARC Global Investments II, which owns almost 18 percent of the company.
Patrick Orlando, the CEO of DWAC, is listed in regulatory filings as the managing member of ARC Global.
Orlando did not return The Post’s request for comment, but in a brief interview with The New York Times, he said he negotiated the SPAC deal directly with Trump.
“I’m the C.E.O. of the SPAC, and the conversations were generally at the highest levels,” he reportedly said.
Another unnamed hedge fund investor who owned nearly 10 percent of DWAC told the Financial Times that he sold every share he could early Thursday morning, before the stock saw its biggest gains.
“The idea that I would help [Trump] build out a fake news business called Truth makes me want to throw up,” he said.