Transgender activist buys Miss Universe Organization for $20 million

A transgender business owner and activist from Thailand has purchased the Miss Universe Organization for $20 million.

JKN Global Group, owned by Chakrapong “Anne” Chakrajutathib, acquired the rights to the Miss Universe pageant from IMG on Wednesday. The company established a subsidiary in the United States, JKN Metaverse, in order to own the Miss Universe Organization and will use the Miss Universe name to promote the company’s consumer products, including beverages, food supplements, and beauty and consumer products, according to Associated Press.

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The purchase is “a strong, strategic addition to our portfolio,” Chakrapong said in a statement.

Growing up, Chakrapong had studied at an all-male school and was harassed for identifying as female, the report said, citing a profile this year in the Bangkok Post. After gaining wealth and financial status, Chakrapong spent 40 million Thai baht, or roughly $1 million, on sex reassignment surgery to resemble a woman, per the newspaper.

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Chakrapong helped establish the Life Inspired For Transsexual Foundation, a nonprofit group that promotes transgender rights. Chakrapong has a large following on social media, boasting 6.8 million followers on Instagram.

The Miss Universe Organization was owned by former President Donald Trump from 1996 through 2015, when it was then purchased by IMG, a sports, talent, and events marketing company.

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