Big Republican donor Jeff Yass owns shares in the Trump media affiliate

Republican megadonor Jeff Yass, a billionaire Wall Street financier and major investor in TikTok's parent company, recently joined former President Donald J. He was also the largest corporate shareholder of Trump's social media affiliate, Shell.

In a December regulatory filing Friday, Mr. Trump's Media & Technology Group affiliate Digital World Acquisition Corp. Yass' trading firm Susquehanna International Group held about 2 percent, it said. That stake, about 605,000 shares, is worth about $22 million based on Digital World's last closing share price.

It's unclear whether Susquehanna still owns those shares, as large investors only disclose their holdings to regulators from time to time. But if it retains its shares, when trading begins this week following the merger, Mr. Yass's company will become one of Trump Media's largest corporate shareholders.

Digital World's shares have soared about 140 percent this year due to its merger with the parent company of Trump's social media platform, Truth Social.

“Susquehanna is a market maker and has zero economic interest in the Trump media,” the company said in a statement. “The company's long position is offset by the same amount of short positions.”

Regulatory filings show the company used offsetting securities to try to offset its gains or losses on the stock.

The company's statement did not comment on whether the company still has a stake in Digital World or on the relationship between Mr Yass and Mr Trump.

Mr. Yas has been in the news lately for many reasons. He is a major contributor to Republican candidates and political action groups that support libertarian and conservative causes, including the Club for Growth. Yass's company is also a major shareholder in TikTok's parent company, ByteDance. American investment firms Susquehanna, BlackRock and General Atlantic, among others, own 60 percent of Byte Dance.

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This month, the House passed a bill that would force ByteDance to sell TikTok, a Chinese-controlled social media company.

Club for Growth has tried to persuade Republicans in Congress to oppose any effort to ban TikTok if it is still controlled by China, and Mr. Funded by Yas. (The Club for Growth opposed Mr. Trump's re-election campaign, but appears to have reconciled with him.)

Mr. Trump supported banning TikTok in the US, but he recently changed his stance. A few weeks ago, Mr. He agreed to a brief meeting with Yass – identified in 2022 Wall Street Journal column “Never Trumper” — but said the two never discussed TikTok.

Mr. Yas is expected to donate heavily to a group supporting the former president's political campaign. A person close to Trump's campaign said. Mr. Yass said through a spokesman that he had never given to Mr. Trump and had no plans to do so.

Susquehanna isn't the only company making money in the digital world, facilitating trades in thousands of stocks using mathematical models. In February, Digital World disclosed that it would raise $50 million from a group of institutional investors to cover merger-related expenses. Investors loaned the company money that could be converted into shares. Who invested in the deal is yet to be disclosed.

Collectively, hedge funds and trading firms owned about 5 percent of Digital World's 30 million shares outstanding at the end of last year. The majority of Digital World's roughly 400,000 shareholders are individual investors, many of whom are Mr. Trump supporters.

Digital World's share price has risen this year, with Mr. Trump in the media. Trump's 79 million shares are worth billions of dollars. Mr. Trump is also being offered a class of shares that will give him at least 55 percent of the voting power in all shareholder actions.

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Mr. The merger was finalized ahead of Trump's Monday deadline.

The former president's Trump media holdings could provide him with a source of funding to raise the money he needs to secure a bond. But to do that, he needs a seven-member Trump media panel to lift a ban that prevents him from selling shares or using them as collateral for the next six months.

In the group Mr. Trump's eldest son, Donald Jr., and three former members of his administration include: Kash Patel, Mr. was chief of staff to Trump's defense secretary; former US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer; and Linda McMahon, former administrator of the Small Business Administration.

According to a copy of the invitation, Mr. Ms. McMahon is a major fund-raiser for Trump. The event is co-hosted by billionaire investor John Paulson and has several Wall Street financiers as chairs. Mr Yas was not mentioned as one of them.

Maggie Haberman Contributed report.

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