Donald Trump, who officially announced on Twitter that he acquired NBC’s share in the Miss Universe organization, becoming the sole owner, is in talks to sell the entire company to Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell’s WME/IMG.
According to people with knowledge of the matter who have spoken with Bloomberg News said IMG, which is now under the ownership of Ari Emanuel’s an entertainment and media agency, William Morris Endeavour, and Silver Lake Management, is interested in owning the whole company instead of just owning a share.
The report was not clear whether Trump was the one who offered to sell Miss Universe after buying it from NBC or it was IMG which showed an interest to buy the organization entirely.
If IMG, indeed, acquire Miss Universe, it sets a trend for a new business model, Kyell Thomas, head of entertainment at Octagon, a sports and entertainment company told Bloomberg.
Just purchased NBC’s half of The Miss Universe Organization and settled all lawsuits against them. Now own 100% — stay tuned!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2015
“At the end of the day, Miss Universe is a media property. There aren’t too many properties that come up that have name recognition and global scale. Now you have a major talent agency acquiring a media property rather than representing it. To me, that’s a further test of the model they’re trying to create, ” Kyell told Bloomberg.
Reports of IMG’s interest on Trump’s share of Miss Universe emerged mid-August in the wakes of the candidate’s controversial racist comment about Mexicans. The derogatory statement was made during his official launch of the presidential bid. As a result, NBC and Univision decided not to air Miss Universe.
A source told Page Six at the time, “Donald Trump is looking to sell his 49 percent share of Miss Universe. Ari Emanuel and IMG are interested in buying, although there are other bidders. The deal isn’t done yet, ”
“This comes after NBC decided to sever its business ties with Trump. They cannot continue as partners, and everyone agrees it is the best move to ensure the continuation of the pageant, ” the source explained.