(Bloomberg) -- The blank-check firm that’s been looking to take Donald Trump’s media company public soars after receiving a long-awaited nod from the US Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Shares of Digital World Acquisition rose 16% Thursday to close at $50.56 a share after the SEC declared the registration statement for its proposed business combination with Trump Media & Technology Group effective. 

Regulatory issues have held up the special purpose acquisition company’s merger with Trump’s media company, which owns the social media platform Truth Social, for more than two years. 

The “biggest hurdle for the merger is now passed,” said Matthew Tuttle, the chief executive officer of Tuttle Capital Management, adding that all that’s needed now is a shareholder vote. 

Digital World expects to announce the date of the special meeting of its stockholders within two business days, the company said in a Wednesday statement. 

“Truth Social was created to serve as a safe harbor for free expression and to give people their voices back. Moving forward, we aim to accelerate our work to build a free speech highway outside the stifling stranglehold of Big Tech,” Devin Nunes, chief executive officer of Trump Media & Technology Group, said in a press release. 

This week Digital World also amended its registration statement to announce new proposed board members. Among them are former officials who served under the Trump administration, Robert Lighthizer, who was US trade representative, and Linda McMahon, the former head of the Small Business Administration and one-time CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.

Read more: Trump Fuels Meme-Like Rallies in Stocks Tied to 2024 Bid

Shares of Digital World are up 189% so far this year, lifted in part by Trump’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, where he’s long been seen as the front-runner. 

In addition to the stock rally, high call volume traded in Digital World — led by action in out-of-the-money contracts seeking added upside. Leading the activity was a call that expires on Friday and requires an added 19% rally to be worth something. The number of calls outnumbered puts four to one on Thursday, with investors bidding up the former more than the latter — signaling added demand for short-term upside exposure, relative to downside protection.

Other stocks tied to Trump that were also higher Thursday include video platform Rumble Inc., and Phunware Inc., a software company that designed the app for Trump’s 2020 campaign. Shares for each company jumped more than 12% before paring gains, closing up 6.7% and 1.6%, respectively.

--With assistance from Carly Wanna.

(Updates stock moves at market close throughout and penultimate paragraph on options.)

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