The Miss Universe Organization was purchased for $20 million Wednesday by JKN Global Media Public Company Limited, a company owned by a Thai transgender advocate and businesswoman.
Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip, CEO of Thailand-based media production company JKN Global Group, and an influential Thailand reality TV star, will be the first woman to own Miss Universe since it began 71 years ago.
“The global reach of the Organization, its relationships with global partners and brands, and its wealth of content, licensing, and merchandising opportunities make this a strong, strategic addition to our portfolio,” Jakrajutatip said in a press release.
“We seek not only to continue its legacy of providing a platform to passionate individuals from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and traditions, but also to evolve the brand for the next generation,” she said.
JKN purchased the rights to the Miss Universe Organization from IMG Worldwide LLC, a global sports, events, and talent management company.
IMG held the rights since 2015. The Miss Universe Organization had been co-owned by former President Donald Trump from 1996 to 2015.
Miss Universe reaches an audience of 165 countries out of the 195 countries total in the world, according to IMG.
The next Miss Universe competition will take place on Jan. 14, 2023.