A Thai businesswoman bought the Miss Universe pageant for $20 million | Job Binary

BANGKOK (Reuters) – A popular Thai actress and transgender rights advocate has bought the Miss Universe Organization for $20 million, marking the first time the beauty pageant organizer will be owned by a woman, her company said on Thursday.

Jakapong “Anne” Jakrajutatip, CEO and largest shareholder of JKN Global Group Pcl (JKN), is famous in Thailand, having worked in local versions of the reality shows Project Runway and Shark Tank.

She has spoken out about her experience as a transgender woman and also established the Support Life For Thailand Foundation to advocate for rights to dignity and opportunities for transgender people.

The property is a “powerful, strategic addition to our portfolio,” Jakapong said, adding that Miss Universe, with its content, licensing and business 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 trading on Wednesday.

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

(Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor)

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