Oprah Joins Weight Watchers, Buys 10% of It

It cost her $43.2M
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2015 9:00 AM CDT
In this Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015, file photo, Oprah Winfrey attends the premiere of the Oprah Winfrey Network's (OWN) documentary series "Belief," at The TimesCenter.   (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – "But not only am I the owner of 10% of Weight Watchers, I'm also a client." That's the upshot of Monday's big news from Oprah Winfrey, who has paid $43.2 million for a 10% stake in the company. It's part of a five-year deal that sees Winfrey—who USA Today describes as having had "a positive personal experience with the company's weight-loss program"—giving the company the right to use her name, image, and endorsement for the company and its programs and products and services (subject to her approval), reports the AP. A press release categorizes her involvement as being in three categories: Member, board member and adviser, and owner. In terms of the first, it states "Winfrey has joined the program and will candidly share her experiences and perspective along the way."

Vanity Fair notes Winfrey is the latest in a list of impressive Weight Watchers celebrity alum, including Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Hudson, Sarah Ferguson, and Charles Barkley. But with its shares down 73% for the year through Friday, per the AP, the bump she's giving the company is a needed one. Shares were up 71% as of this writing.

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