Today, intrigue around the upcoming special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger of Digital World Acquisition (NASDAQ:DWAC) and Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) has morphed into rather incredible price action across various stocks. In particular, certain SPAC stocks have seen increased interest on the back of the recent DWAC stock moves.
Indeed, former President Donald Trump is one controversial character. Love him or hate him, he’s a deal maker. Accordingly, his involvement in the SPAC space has provided new life for a group of stocks that have underperformed of late.
Among the storylines that are grabbing investor interest today is who’s behind Digital World Acquisition. After all, anyone associated with Trump is likely to be looked at closely. There’s a lot of political power behind such a partnership. Investors appear to be looking for moonshot bets on companies outside of this deal.
Companies that are in investors’ crosshairs today include Maquia Capital Acquisition (NASDAQ:MAQC), Benessere Capital Acquisition (NASDAQ:BENE) and Yunhong International (NASDAQ:ZGYH). What do they all have in common? Patrick Orlando, who serves as chairman and CEO of Digital World Acquisition.
Let’s dive a bit into who Patrick Orlando is and why this story is getting a lot of attention today.
Who Is Patrick Orlando? Why Is He Fueling SPAC Stocks?
Patrick Orlando, the CEO of Digital World Acquisitions, is an intriguing character. Like other SPAC sponsors, Mr. Orlando appears to have his tentacles in a number of different deals. Given the venture-capital kind of exposure these SPAC vehicles provide, such a process makes sense. Spreading one’s bets across a number of highly speculative endeavors is a smart idea. As InvestorPlace Financial News Writer Samuel O’Brient wrote yesterday, Orlando worked with Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) previously.
Today, with DWAC stock continuing its monumental rise, investors have been searching for sympathy plays. This has taken them to a variety of speculative names in the media and social media spaces, such as Phunware (NASDAQ:PHUN) and Grom Social (NASDAQ:GROM).
It has also caused investors to pay close attention to other SPAC stocks linked to Orlando, Trump’s DWAC dealmaker. Each of these stocks is seeing gains on Friday afternoon and is experiencing higher-than-average trading volume.
Orlando is listed as the chairman and CEO of Benessere Capital, a blank-check company that came public in January 2021. According to Renaissance Capital, Benessere is targeting middle-market technology companies. Orlando is also listed as the CEO of Yunhong International, a blank-check company targeting businesses in Asia. As other publications have pointed out, his ties to Yunhong International have certainly raised some eyebrows as it is based in Wuhan, China. It also appears to share an office address with a supplements company.
Lastly, Orlando appears to be affiliated with Maquia Capital. The blank-check company’s amended S-1 filings refer to him as a director nominee and cite his roles with BENE and ZGYH. Maquia came public in May 2021 and is focusing on emerging growth targets in North America.
The Bottom Line
So what does this all mean? How this story, and interest in DWAC and Patrick Orlando, unfolds from here remains to be seen. However, investors would do well to keep these SPAC stocks on their radar.
On the date of publication, Chris MacDonald did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
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