MANILA, Philippines — Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip, a THAI businesswoman and transgender rights advocate, and her company, JKN Global Group, have bought the Miss Universe Organization from IMG.
In a press conference, Jakrajutatip explained how she acquired the prestigious pageant.
“I am looking forward to having the transformational leadership in women. This is why I acquire Miss Universe Organization, it’s part of my personal life mission.”Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip
“I said this last year, I would like to work with Miss Universe. I have said this since I have watched the pageant, and I saw potentials from the creation, the intentions of the beauty queen.”
I saw many opportunities for many businesses. People sent messages to me and the thing that I asked and always said is that if you want me to do it, I would like to get support and encouragement and inspiration from everyone. Because [of] the work on this scale, without any support, I will not reach the destination. For 71 years they have established themselves, it has to remain. It is not only a stage for Thai but this will be a universal stage,” Jakrajutatip added.
Jakrajutatip is the first transgender woman to own the Miss Universe Organization at 43. Despite this, current MU CEO Amy Emmerich and president Paula Shugart continue to oversee the organization, and they expressed at the press conference that they were “excited” about the new agreement.
“I’m so excited. I have been here for over 20 years and I can say I think in my 20 years, this is the most excited I have been. I love the Miss Universe brand and I know we are in very good hands,”PAULA SHUGART
I would like to thank our previous owners IMG for the last seven years, they provided us the foundation to realize our aspirations and take Miss Universe to the next level which is now and I am so excited for the new opportunities,” Shugart added.
“The acquisition is going to build on the organization’s strong brand and vision. I am excited to see it develop and integrate through all opportunities that JKN offers to their portfolio – the constant distribution, the beauty, the consumer products, even entering into the new ones like the Miss Metaverse. Paula and I are so excited about this evolution and based on the feedback on today’s news, the fans are even more excited. It’s going to be wonderful,” Emmerich stated.
Increasing the pageant’s prominence is a part of JKN’s current aim for Miss Universe. This includes the launch of MU Lifestyle, a new licensing and merchandise arm of the Miss Universe Organization that will expand JKN’s Miss Universe brand and lifestyle portfolio to create more businesses and entertainment under the pageant.
The 71st Miss Universe competition will take place on January 14, 2023, in the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, and a new crown will be presented to the new winner.