Miss Universe Organization’s new owner gets support from local pageant director Shamcey Supsup
MANILA, Philippines — Miss Universe Philippines (MUPH) National Director Shamcey Supsup-Lee said the global pageant organization still has not sent official documents pertaining to the change in ownership, but said she has learned about Thailand-based JKN Global Group’s acquisition of the 71-year-old pageant franchise through the news.
“If it is true, then we are very happy to have it in Asia,” Lee told the Inquirer in a phone interview.
In an announcement on Oct. 26, the Thai media and content conglomerate revealed it has acquired the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) from IMG, whose parent company Endeavor was earlier reported to be selling the international pageant.
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Reports also said JKN Global Group acquired MUO from IMG Worldwide for $20 million (roughly P1.18 billion).
The national director from the Philippines said, “we know in the last few years that countries in Southeast Asia have been at the forefront of pageants.”
Lee, who finished fourth in the 2011 Miss Universe pageant in Brazil, also said it will make her proud if indeed Asians will be owning MUO.
“We all know how fabulous the Miss Universe pageant was when it was held in Bangkok, so I’m looking forward to something like that,” she shared.
Lee also mentioned that even when MUO transferred ownership from Donald Trump to WME/IMG the organizational structure and the officials did not change.
Superagent Ari Emmanuel’s Endeavor bought the organization from Trump in 2015, and incorporated it in the WME/IMG portfolio of brands.
Paula Shugart, who has been president since MUO’s “Trump era,” issued a joint statement with CEO Amy Emmerich, which stated, “we are excited to continue the evolution of The Miss Universe Organization with JKN. 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.”
The two ladies also extended their gratitude to IMG “for providing us a foundation to realize our aspirations for the brand.”
JKN Global CEO Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip said, “we are incredibly honored to be acquiring [MUO] and working with its visionary leadership team.”
The Thai personality, who is the first woman owner of MUO, said the recent acquisition will boost JKN Global’s portfolio through the brand’s global reach and partnerships with international entities.
“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,” Jakrajutatip continued.
The 71st Miss Universe pageant, which is technically its 2022 edition, is scheduled to take place in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the United Staes in January, where reigning queen Harnaaz Sandhu of India will relinquish her crown to her successor.
Celeste Cortesi will represent the Philippines in the 71st Miss Universe pageant. EDV
Miss Universe Organization acquired by Thai-owned conglomerate
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