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HomeNewsTransgender businesswoman buys Miss Universe pageant for $20M

Transgender businesswoman buys Miss Universe pageant for $20M

A Thai businesswoman and transgender advocate purchased the Miss Universe Group for $20 million, making her the primary girl to personal the worldwide magnificence pageant in its 71-year historical past, her firm introduced Wednesday. 

Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip, the CEO of the Thailand-based media firm JKN World Group, is a actuality TV star in her house nation, the place she has appeared on native variations of “Challenge Runway” and “Shark Tank.” She additionally helped set up Life Impressed for Transsexual Basis, a nonprofit transgender rights group.

Jakrajutatip mentioned her firm’s acquisition of the Miss Universe model is a “robust, strategic addition to our portfolio.” 

“We search not solely to proceed its legacy of offering a platform to passionate people from numerous backgrounds, cultures, and traditions, but additionally to evolve the model for the following technology,” she mentioned in a press launch. 

The Miss Universe Group, which was co-owned by former President Donald Trump between 1996-2015, was purchased by Endeavor’s IMG in 2015. The group will proceed to be led by its present CEO, Amy Emmerich, and president, Paula Shugart.

Miss Universe, Harnaaz Sandhu of India, waves after being topped Dec. 12 in Eilat, Israel.Amir Levy / Getty Photographs file

Following the cope with the JKN World Group, Endeavor President Mark Shapiro mentioned in a press release that he’s “pleased with the progress the group has made in changing into a extra inclusive and highly effective platform the place girls can advance each their enterprise aims and their cause-based work.”

Emmerich agreed, saying that JKN World will assist to additional develop the group. 

“Regardless of having not too long ago celebrated the group’s legacy of greater than 70 years, we’re simply getting began,” she mentioned. 

The Miss Universe pageant, which began in 1952, broadcasts in 165 international locations. The pageant featured its first transgender contestant in 2018, when Miss Spain, Angela Ponce, competed for the crown.

Comply with NBC Out on TwitterFb & Instagram.

Reuters and Selection contributed.

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