A Thai media tycoon and transgender rights advocate has bought the Miss Universe Organization for $20 million, according to her company, which will now host the international beauty pageant.
Anne Jakkaphong Jakrajutatip is the CEO of JKN Global Group PCL, a Thailand-based media distribution company, though she’s perhaps better known for her role in Thai versions of reality shows, including “Project Runway.”
She has also been outspoken about her experiences as a transgender woman, and has worked in advocacy for transgender rights in Thailand.
JKN Global Group announced the takeover on Oct. 28, saying in a news release it planned to grow the Miss Universe Organization by expanding in Asia—and releasing new merchandise including skin care, cosmetics, lifestyle products, dietary supplements, and drinks.
The purchase makes Jakkaphong the first woman owner of the Miss Universe Organization, according to the JKN news release.
The Miss Universe beauty contest, one of the world’s most-watched pageants, has been running since 1952.