Oprah Winfrey Acquires 10% in Weight Watchers

Oprah Winfrey the media mogul has purchased a stake of 10% in Weight Watchers International, which helped to send the stock at the dieting company soaring on Monday.

Winfrey, who is getting options to purchase another 5%, will join the board at Weight Watchers after having a positive personal experience with the weight loss program at the company.

Weight Watchers at the same time announced it was expanding its brand beyond a focus on just weight loss, to an overall general emphasis on happier, healthier living.

Investors have flocked to shares of Weight Watchers following the release of news on Winfrey investing and the company widening its overall approach sending shares up over 53% in trading before the bell on Monday.

Winfrey purchased her stock at a price of $6.79 and early Monday the stock was up to $10.35. Here original investment was for $43.2 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The rising price of shares might reflect the power behind the Winfrey brand in pushing interest in programs and products that are health related as much as it reflects a bet by her on the company’s financial prospects.

In a prepared statement, Winfrey said that Weight Watchers gave her the tools to start and make a lasting move that she and so many others have struggled with regarding their weight.

She added that she believed in the Weight Watchers program so much that she decided to invest in the business and be a partner in its ongoing evolution.

As well as her role on the Weight Watchers board, Winfrey, who for a long time has held an interest in dieting programs and health issues, will serve the company as one of their advisers.

Jim Chambers the CEO at Weight Watchers said that through conversations with Winfrey it became very clear that a tremendous alignment exists between her intention and the company’s mission.

The Winfrey deal also includes the option to purchase another 5% at $6.97 a share.

 

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