11 July 2024

Thai transgender business tycoon Jakkaphong Jakrajutatip, aka “Anne”, has purchased the Miss Universe pageant from the US’ IMG for about US$20million.

Jakkaphong said, during a press conference held today (Thursday) in Bangkok, that Miss Universe is the pride of Thai people, not just of the JKN Global Group (Jakkaphong’s company) and that (the purchase) is a fulfilment of her dream and for women all over the world, as well as the LGBTQ community.

A press conference was held simultaneously in the United States by the Miss Universe Organisation’s CEO Amy Emmerich and President Paula Shugart.

IMG announced Wednesday that it had sold the organisation to Thailand-based JKN Global Group, a media company of which Jakkaphong is CEO.

“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,” Amy Emmerich said in a statement.

“We look forward to the next chapter in the Miss Universe story,” she added.

JKN said in a press release that it plans to leverage the Miss Universe brand to create a new licensing and merchandising arm, among other projects.

Jakkaphong said JKN is not only acquiring the Miss Universe Organisation, but also five sports subsidiaries owned by IMG.

“I am now the 100 percent owner of the Miss Universe Organisation,” she said, adding that she hopes to recover the investment in 2-3 years, because she does not only organise the pageant but will also expand into other areas, including reality shows, advertising, production, broadcasting rights and lifestyle products.

She said that the next Miss Universe pageant, scheduled for January 14th next year, will be broadcast live via JKN Channel 18, adding that several countries have offered to host the pageant until 2024.

As far as Thailand is concerned, she said that the pageant will be held in Thailand every two years to promote Thai tourism and the economy.