Thai-owned media and content conglomerate JKN Global Group has acquired the Miss Universe Organization from IMG, making the company's CEO Anne Jakapong Jakrajutajip the pageant's new owner.
The company announced the acquisition on Oct. 25, with Jakrajutajip sharing the news on Instagram.
"Thank you for your kind support... I hope we are ready to walk together! Finally, the universe is ours!" the CEO wrote on Instagram.
"We are incredibly honored to be acquiring the Miss Universe Organization and working with its visionary leadership team. The global reach of the Organization, its relationships with global partners and brands, and its wealth of content, licensing, and merchandising opportunities make this a strong, strategic addition to our portfolio," she said in a press release.
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Under JKN, the CEO would continue the pageant's "legacy of providing a platform to individuals from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and traditions" and to "evolve the brand for the next generations."
The company's acquisition of the organization is valued at $20 million (~P1.2 billion), according to a Reuters report. As part of the deal, JKN is launching MU Lifestyle, a new licensing and merchandising arm.
Miss Universe's current CEO Ammy Emmerich and president Paula Shugart said they were "excited" with the new partnership.
"Our relationships with global partners and brands have never been stronger; and our progressive approach continues to position us at the forefront of our industry. We would like to thank IMG for providing us a foundation to realize our aspirations for the brand," they said.
At 71 years, Miss Universe is one of the longest-running pageants in the world and is broadcast in 165 countries. Since 2015, the organization was owned by American holdings company Endeavor or IMG.
The next Miss Universe competition will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana in the USA on January 14, 2023 with Celeste Cortesi representing the Philippines.