For the first time ever, the beauty pageant organizer will be owned by a woman. Jakkaphong “Anne” Jakrajutatip, a Thai celebrity media tycoon and transgender rights advocate, has bought the Miss Universe Organization for $20 million.
The transgender activist, the CEO and biggest shareholder of JKN Global Group, is a celebrity in Thailand. She stars 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 transgender rights.
The acquisition is “a strong, strategic addition to our portfolio,” said Jakkaphong. The contest is broadcast in 165 countries and has been running for 71 years.