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Hedge funds were once big backers of a little special-purpose acquisition company called Digital World Acquisition Corp. Owned almost all of its shares, in fact, until the men they entrusted their money with decided (or simply announced what had been previously decided, depending on who you believe) with former Donald Trump’s still-nonexistent National Socialist social media platform. Having not been let on to the former president’s alleged little secret with DWAC chief Patrick Orlando, most of them quickly dumped their shares, which was easy, because there was no shortage of buyers.

Still, perhaps given the continued success of DWAC, these moneymen could be convinced to back Trump Media & Technology Group. The terms of the SPAC-associated PIPE deal were pretty much can’t miss, as, you’d think, was this opportunity:

Early on, Trump Media bankers told some prospective investors that they would get a call from Mr. Trump if they put in $100 million, according to interviews with those investors. Later on, other investors were told that $50 million was enough for a call.

What a bargain! Truly, this man is an Artist of the Deal. And yet,

More than a dozen well-known hedge funds and investment firms were hesitant to go into business with Mr. Trump, people briefed on the matter said, because any association with him could risk alienating their investors….

Now why would that be?

Among the funds that turned down Trump Media’s bankers were Millennium Management, a $57 billion hedge fund; Hudson Bay Capital, a $15 billion hedge fund; and Balyasny Asset Management, a hedge fund with $13 billion in assets, according to a spokesman. Apollo Global Management, the big private equity firm, also passed…. Highbridge Capital Management, a hedge fund unit of JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s biggest bank, had bought shares in the initial public offering of Digital World Acquisition, the SPAC that later agreed to merge with Mr. Trump’s company. However, Highbridge didn’t go into the PIPE deal because of the optics of doing business with Mr. Trump….

Trump Deal Faced Widespread Investor Doubt Before Raising $1 Billion [NYT]

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