The Miss Universe Organization Is Now Owned By A Woman For The First Time Ever

The new owner is a Thai celebrity media tycoon, who plans on expanding the beauty pageant in Asia.

Cover image via @annejkn.official (Instagram)

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A Thai celebrity media tycoon and transgender rights advocate has bought the Miss Universe Organization for USD20 million (approximately RM94 million), marking the first time the beauty pageant organiser will be owned by a woman

Jakapong "Anne" Jakrajutatip, CEO of JKN Global Group and the first woman owner of the Miss Universe Organization.

Image via PR Newswire

Jakapong "Anne" Jakrajutatip, CEO and biggest shareholder of JKN Global Group Pcl (JKN), is a celebrity in Thailand, starring in local versions of reality shows Project Runway and Shark Tank.

She has been outspoken about her experience as a transgender woman and also set up the Life Inspired For Thailand Foundation to advocate for the rights to dignity and opportunities for transgender people.

The acquisition is "a strong, strategic addition to our portfolio," said Jakapong

Miss Universe winner Miss India Harnaaz Sandhu reacts as the Miss Universe crown is placed on her head by Outgoing Miss Universe Andrea Meza of Mexico, at the Red Sea resort of Eilat, Israel, on 13 December 2021.

Image via Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

She added that Miss Universe, with its content, licensing, and merchandising opportunities, plans to expand in Asia.

JKN produces its own shows and distributes content in Thailand from abroad including documentaries and Bollywood dramas. Its shares jumped nearly 10% in early trade on Wednesday.

The annual beauty contest run by the Miss Universe Organization, which was co-owned by Donald Trump between 1996 and 2002, is broadcast in 165 countries and has been running for 71 years.

A Dayak-native represented Malaysia at the Miss Universe 2020 beauty pageant:

In 2019, Miss Universe Malaysia Shweta Sekhon won 'Best National Costume' for her Peranakan-inspired costume:

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