Today, I’ve been tasked with the depressing chore of writing about Donald Trump’s SPAC baby — Digital World Acquisition (NASDAQ:DWAC) and DWAC stock.
Without getting political, I have no time for the failed CEO. When you bankrupt as many companies as The Donald has, you don’t deserve space in the business media.
I can be just as objective as the next person. So, with that in mind, InvestorPlace’s Samuel O’Brient recently wrote about seven SPACs to watch after Trump made mergers “Great Again.”
Digital World was one of the seven. For fun, I’ll rate Digital World and some other SPACs for actual investability, not meme worthiness. Here goes.
DWAC Stock Has No ‘There’ There
My colleague selected SPACs that had so-called celebrity affiliations. There is no more prominent a celebrity than Donald Trump — and I don’t mean that in a good way. The man has built a business career on shafting suppliers and people who worked with the Trump Organization.
I agree with my colleague’s quote from Tuttle Capital Management CEO Matthew Tuttle that Trump “ is the only guy who could pull it off.” He’s talking about creating a social network to compete with Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) and other platforms out there.
There is no question he brings a different mindset to social media, which ought to create some real buzz with a particular segment of the American population. But in the end, social media platforms run on advertising. So after Truth Social blows through the My Pillows of the world, the company’s sales executives will be free to do plenty of golfing during the day because they’ll have very few takers from corporate America.
The SPAC has laid out no plans on how it will generate revenue. That’s because it can’t. There’s no “there” there; it’s as fluffy as the former guy’s quaffed orange hair.
What kind of legitimate business will affiliate itself with a social media platform that condones what happened on Jan. 6?
Tuttle says it’s all about management. In this case, it’s 49-year-old Patrick Orlando, who is the CEO of Digital World. A quick look at his resume doesn’t wow me. He founded Benessere Capital in 2012. Before that, he’d never had a CEO position of any kind. He’s also worked on Wall Street, and he’s got an engineering degree from MIT. So, he’s probably book smart.
Until investors get a better idea of who will be Truth Social’s CEO and on the management team — god help us if it’s Trump — I wouldn’t touch DWAC stock with a 10-foot pole.
I rate it a D.
Digital World’s Kissin’ Cousin
Benessere Capital Acquisition (NASDAQ:BENE) raised $100 million in early January. The aforementioned Orlando, given the name of the SPAC, is the CEO. According to pg. 77 of its prospectus, the firm focuses on “middle market and emerging growth technology-focused companies” in the Americas.
If you look at Digital World’s prospectus, it said almost the same thing, except it also mentioned fintech and financial services. And this is what is so wrong about where SPACs have gone in the past 24 months.
“While we may pursue an initial business combination opportunity in any business, industry, sector or geographical location,” reads pg. 86 of DWAC’s prospectus.
This is more of a dog than the Digital World SPAC because, at least with DWAC, you know what the target is.
I rate it an F.
One From the Social Capital Roster
At one point, it looked as though Canadian venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya was going to list 26 SPACs, one for every letter in the alphabet. I wrote about that in January. I even said Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. VI (NYSE:IPOF) is a speculative buy.
There were rumors that IPOF would merge with Discord, the communication platform for invitation-only discussions that Elon Musk has used in the past. At this point, Palihapitiya needs a home run. Unfortunately, I don’t believe Discord is it.
I rate IPOF a C.
Dead SPAC Walking
I’m a big fan of Bill Ackman’s return from the dead two years ago. Since catching his stride, he’s delivered big time for his investors. However, when it comes to Pershing Square Tontine Holdings (NYSE:PSTH), I don’t think there’s any question; it’s a dead SPAC walking.
I recently discussed four buys better than PSTH. One of them is Pershing Square Holdings (OTCMKTS:PSHZF), Ackman’s London-listed investment firm. It’s a good investment.
PSTH had so much going for it, given its unique structure, but it failed to live up to the expectations. That happens sometimes. It’s still got nine months or so to find a target.
It wouldn’t shock me if Ackman pulled a rabbit out of his hat. He’s capable of it.
That said, I rate it a D.
Can’t See the Forest Through the Trees
Forest Road Acquisition Corp. II (NYSE:FRXB) is the second SPAC from three former Disney executives — Tom Staggs, Kevin Mayer and Salil Mehta — it raised $305 million in its March IPO.
The SPAC’s focus is on technology, media, telecommunications, and consumer (TMTC) businesses. That’s still a wide swath but not nearly as open-ended as some of the SPACs on my colleague O’Brient’s list.
Forest Road Acquisition Corp., which raised $261 million in November 2020, merged with the Beachbody Company (NYSE:BODY) and Myx Fitness on June 28. The transaction valued the combined entities at $2.9 billion.
Beachbody is a holding company for the Beachbody On Demand streaming platform, the Openfit live digital streaming platform, and MYXfitness, the company’s connected fitness brand.
Unfortunately, for investors, BODY stock is currently valued at $1.4 billion, less than two-thirds of its value at the end of June.
For this reason, I have to give FRXB a C- despite the Disney executives on board.
On the date of publication, Will Ashworth 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.
Will Ashworth has written about investments full-time since 2008. Publications where he’s appeared include InvestorPlace, The Motley Fool Canada, Investopedia, Kiplinger, and several others in both the U.S. and Canada. He particularly enjoys creating model portfolios that stand the test of time. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.