MANILA, Philippines – WME| IMG (William Morris Endeavor/IMG ) announced they have acquired the Miss Universe Organization from businessman and presidential candidate Donald Trump.
According to the press release on the Miss Universe website, WME|IMG’s purchase of Miss Universe from Trump also includes the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants.
“Having worked closely with The Miss Universe Organization in the past, we understand the incredible potential of the events and the star-quality of the participants,” Mark Shapiro, Chief Content Officer, WME | IMG said. “The global reach of The Miss Universe Organization and the content opportunities presented by the pageants make this a strong, strategic addition to our portfolio.”
In the same presse release Trump said: “I have truly enjoyed owning the MISS UNIVERSE, MISS USA, and MISS TEEN USA pageants. When I purchased the pageants many years ago, they were in serious trouble. It has been a great honor making them so successful and I have really enjoyed watching the pageants grow throughout the USA and worldwide. The pageants are now in the hands of a great company that will shepherd them to even greater levels of success.”
WME|IMG is known for producing fashion shows in cities such as New York, Berlin and Sydney. They also produced shows such as the upcoming Macy’s Presents Fashion’s Front Row taking place and global lifestyle festivals including Taste Festivals and Lollapalooza
Before the acquisition, the Miss Universe was shared by Trump and NBC Universal. NBC and Univision, which air the pageant, cut ties with Trump after his comments about Mexican immigrants. (READ: Mexico pulls out of Miss Universe pageant)
Macy’s Department store also withdrew their support, while countries such as Costa Rica and Mexico have withdrew their participation in the Miss Universe pageant. The city of Bogota also said they were no longer interested in hosting the Miss Universe pageant.
Miss Universe 2014 Paulina Vega also spoke up, saying she was disappointed to hear her boss’ comments about Mexico.
Last week, Trump announced he bought NBC’s share of the Miss Universe, making him the sole owner.
Last June Trump announced he was running for president of the United States. – with reports from AFP/Rappler.com