Thai Businesswoman Acquires Miss Universe Pageant for USD 20 Million


This is the first time the beauty pageant organizer would be owned by a woman. 

Jakkaphong “Anne” Jakrajutatip, a Thai celebrity media tycoon, transgender rights advocate, and the CEO of the JKN Global Group, a content distribution company, has made the deal at USD 20 million.

JKN Global Group signed an acquisition agreement with Endeavor Group Holdings which held the copyright of Miss Universe through its International Management company IMG Worldwide.

JKN produces television shows and distributes international content like documentaries and Bollywood dramas in Thailand. Ms. Jakkaphong herself has starred in Thai versions of reality shows like Project Runway and Shark Tank in the past. The shares of the company jumped 10% in early trade on Wednesday following the acquisition.

After the takeover, the JKN Global Group will own IMG Universe, MG Universe FranchCo, Miss USA BR Productions, MUO Productions, and Miss USA Productions in their entirety.

According to Ms. Jakkaphong, the acquisition is “a strong, strategic addition to our portfolio,” and there are plans to expand Miss Universe in Asia, with its content, licensing and merchandising opportunities.

“JKN’s acquisition of MUO and the copyright of Miss Universe which is the long-standing and world-renowned brand is one of growth strategies of JKN,” she says.

Ms Jakkaphong has been frank about her experience as a transgender woman in the past and has also set up Life Inspired For Thailand Foundation to advocate for the rights to dignity and opportunities for transgender people.

Managed by the Miss Universe Organization, the annual beauty pageant was earlier owned by Former US President Donald Trump from 1996 to 2002. The competition is broadcast across 165 countries, and has been held for 71 years.