A transgender Thai businessperson and activist has purchased the Miss Universe organization for $20 million.
The buyer, Chakrapong “Anne” Chakrajutathib, is quite famous in Thailand and has appeared on several reality television shows.
IMG Worldwide had owned the organization since 2015 and says that the pageant is broadcast in 165 countries.
In a translated press release, the famed transgender activist’s company, JKN Global Group Public Co. Ltd., said they will be using the brand to sell dietary supplements, beverages, skin care products, cosmetics, and other “lifestyle products ” — in addition to running the competitions.
“MUO or Miss Universe Organization is a global organization with more than 71 years of history, known to consumers around the world who monitor more than 500 million Miss Universe pageants around the world,” the press release said, adding that “different countries have purchased the rights to manage the Miss Universe pageant in each country to send beauty queens to contests in more than 94 countries.”
USA Today reports, “a profile of Chakrapong in the Bangkok Post newspaper earlier this year said in her youth, she studied at an all-male school where she was harassed for identifying as female. After becoming wealthy, she spent $1 million on sex reassignment surgery and other procedures.”
“In addition to her business ventures, Chakrajutathib helped establish a nonprofit group, Life Inspired For Transsexual Foundation, to promote trans rights,” the report added.
The next Miss Universe pageant is scheduled to take place in January in New Orleans.
“The acquisition of MUO, including the copyright of Miss Universe, which is JKN’s long-standing brand known to the world, is one of JKN’s business growth-driven strategies that are not just contests and contests,” Chakrajutathib said in the roughly translated press release. “Give the right to broadcast the Miss Universe contest only. But we will bring the Miss Universe brand to expand the production and marketing of products in the consumer goods group in every country in order to grow JKN and raise the corporate image to become a Global Content Commerce Company.”