Organization strategy

Thai business tycoon and trans activist buys Miss Universe organization

IMG has sold the Miss Universe Organization (MUO), which oversees the annual pageant, to Thai transgender business magnate Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip’s company. It is the first time that a woman has owned the organization in its 71-year history.

IMG has sold the Miss Universe Organization (MUO), which oversees the annual pageant, to Thai transgender business magnate Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip’s company. It is the first time that a woman has owned the organization in its 71-year history.

Jakrajutatip’s Thai media group, JKN Global Media Public Company Limited, bought MUO for $20 million, according to The Associated Press.

The businesswoman, who is also a reality TV star in Thailand, said she was delighted to carry on the legacy of the Miss Universe organization, calling it “a strong and strategic addition to our portfolio”.

“We are incredibly honored to acquire the Miss Universe organization and to work with its visionary leadership team,” Jakrajutatip said in a statement announcing the acquisition. “We not only seek to continue its legacy of providing a platform for passionate people from diverse backgrounds, cultures and traditions, but also to evolve the brand for the next generation.”

Amy Emmerich and Paula Shugart, the current CEO and President of MUO, will continue in these positions under new leadership, the statement said.

Emmerich said the two leaders are looking forward to building on the Miss Universe organization with this new purchase.

“Paula and I see tremendous opportunity with JKN to create additional growth for this organization on the global stage and for women around the world,” Emmerich said in the statement. “While we recently celebrated the organization’s 70+ year legacy, we are just getting started.

Both IMG and JKN Global Media highlighted the importance of global partnerships, which can help create an inclusive environment for all individuals.

“We are also proud of the progress the organization has made in becoming a more inclusive and powerful platform where women can advance both their business goals and their cause-driven work,” said Mark Shapiro, President. of Endeavour, the parent company of IMG. .

In addition to his business connections, Jakrajutatip is also an advocate for transgender rights and helped found the nonprofit Life Inspired for Transsexual Foundation.

MUO was previously co-owned by former President Donald Trump from 1996 to 2015, before being sold to IMG.

The organization held its first-ever Miss Universe pageant in 1952, which now airs annually in 165 countries, according to IMG. In the press release, IMG called the competition “the most-watched women’s event in the world.”

Angela Ponce from Spain made history in 2018 as first openly transgender person participate in the Miss Universe pageant.