Talk show host Oprah Winfrey who has publicly battled with her weight over the years, has bought a 10 percent stake in Weight watchers a dieting company,sending its shares through the roof!
Media magnate Winfrey will join the board in an attempt to transform the dieting company into a broader health and fitness brand.
Shares of Weight Watchers nearly doubled in early trading, cutting some of their recent losses to hit their highest level since February.
More than 35 million shares changed hands on US exchanges, the busiest day in the company’s history.
Winfrey will help broaden Weight Watchers’ reach and appeal and the company plans to feature her in its marketing, Chief Executive Jim Chambers said.
The media star, who for years has struggled publicly with her weight, will receive options to buy another 5 percent of the company.
Besides being a board member and an adviser, she has also joined the weight-loss program and will document her experience.
“Weight Watchers has given me the tools to begin to make the lasting shift that I and so many of us who are struggling with weight have longed for,” she said.
Winfrey, 61, was regarded as America’s most influential celebrity for many years thanks to her daily talk show, magazine, book club and production company Harpo.
Although her influence has slipped since she ended ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ in 2011 after 25 years to launch the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) on cable TV, Winfrey remains one of the richest and most powerful celebrities in the United States.
Forbes magazine has estimated her net worth at $3 billion.
“The good thing about picking Oprah Winfrey is that although she is very much a really strong media personality, lots of people still see her as being a very ordinary person, a person that has struggled with things like weight loss,” said Neil Saunders, CEO of retail research firm Conlumino.