Thai transgender businesswoman buys Miss Universe for $20 million

A Thai businesswoman and transgender advocate purchased the Miss Universe pageant for $20,000 million, her company announced this week.

Chakrapong “Anne” Chakrajutathib is a celebrity in Thailand who has starred in reality shows and is outspoken about being transgender.

Her company, JKN Global Group Public Co. Ltd., wrote in a news release Wednesday that it acquired the rights to the Miss Universe pageant from IMG Worldwide, which has owned the Miss Universe Organization since 2015.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump was part owner of the pageant rights from 1996 until IMG’s purchase. The pageant is broadcast in 165 countries, according to IMG.

In a statement, Chakrajutathib described the purchase as “a strong, strategic addition to our portfolio.” JKN, which is involved in content distribution, beverages, food supplements, beauty and consumer products, said the Miss Universe name will be used to promote its consumer products.

Thai business tycoon and transgender Chakrapong Chakrajutathib poses for a photo after a news conference in Bangkok, Thailand, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Chakrapong has purchased the Miss Universe Organization for $20 million, her company announced Wednesday. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit) ORG XMIT: XSL104

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The Miss Universe Organization is a global organization with more than 71 years of history that monitors more than 500 million of its pageants worldwide.

MUO’s website describes itself as an organization inclusive for all cultures, backgrounds and religions that “creates and provides a safe space for women to share their stories and drive impact.”