That month, a small investment bank, Kingswood Capital Markets, which has frequently partnered with ARC, made a presentation to Benessere’s board members. Marked “strictly private and confidential”, the presentation, reviewed by The Times, listed about half a dozen possible acquisition targets. One was Trump Media. Kingswood, now called EF Hutton, estimated that Trump Media was worth $1.5 billion and that within a few years it could generate $2.3 billion in annual revenue.
Sergio Camarero, managing partner at ARC, told Benessere officials that Trump Media was their preferred target. Some Benessere officials, however, balked because they wanted nothing to do with Mr. Trump, two people familiar with the talks said.
Mr. Camarero did not respond to requests for comment.
ARC quickly turned to Digital World, its other SPAC, as a potential vehicle to merge with the Trump Company. ARC had recently appointed Mr. Orlando as chief executive of Digital World, after its former CEO failed to raise enough money to get him off the ground, a person with direct knowledge of the situation said.
The videoconference involving ARC, Mr. Orlando, Mr. Veloso and members of the Trump team took place in early April. At the time, Digital World had yet to file with the SEC to sell its shares to the public. He did so seven weeks later, on May 26.
“We have not selected any specific business combination target and we, or anyone on our behalf, have not initiated substantive discussions, directly or indirectly, with any business combination target,” Digital World said. in his first deposit.
The revelation was significant. Since regulators allow blank check companies to sell their shares to the public with minimal financial disclosures, companies are not allowed to have merger partners in mind before they go public. while escaping rigorous public scrutiny.