Endeavor’s IMG said on Wednesday that it has sold The Miss Universe Organization (MUO), which oversees the annual Miss Universe competition, to Thailand-based JKN Global Media Public Company Ltd.
Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
“Since joining the IMG family in 2015, the organization and its global reach have grown tremendously,” IMG said. “Today, the Miss Universe competition is broadcast in 165 countries and is the most-watched female-focused event in the world. The event is also one of the most tweeted-about events annually, and its social media channels have more than 23 million followers combined.”
Amy Emmerich and Paula Shugart will continue as CEO and president, respectively, of the organization.
“We are proud of our team’s success growing and expanding the Miss Universe Organization by utilizing the power of the Endeavor network, drawing on expertise across talent, digital, content, partnerships and licensing,” said Endeavor president Mark Shapiro. “We’re equally proud of the progress the organization has made in becoming a more inclusive and powerful platform where women can advance both their business objectives and their cause-based work.”
Added Emmerich: “We look forward to this next chapter in the Miss Universe story. In the short time I’ve been with the organization, I’ve seen firsthand the passion of our employees, franchisees, and partners, as well as our incredible community. Paula and I see tremendous opportunity with JKN to create further growth for this organization on the global stage and women around the world. Despite having recently celebrated the organization’s legacy of more than 70 years, we are just getting started.”
“We are incredibly honored to be acquiring The Miss Universe Organization and working with its visionary leadership team,” said Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip, CEO of JKN. “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. We seek not only to continue its legacy of providing a platform to passionate individuals from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and traditions, but also to evolve the brand for the next generation.”
The Raine Group acted as exclusive financial advisor to IMG on the transaction. Latham & Watkins served as IMG’s legal advisor.
JKN, which stands for Jakapong Network, based on the CEO’s name, says it is in the business of “providing services and distributing copyrighted content that has received huge ratings on various television stations.” It also “sells goods and products as well as commercial time through JKN18 digital TV channel,” a company description highlights. “Our goal is to become a major content commerce company.”