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Oprah nabs 10 per cent slice of Weight Watchers for £28m

BIG DEAL: Oprah Winfrey

AMERICAN MEDIA mogul Oprah Winfrey is paying $43.2m (£27.89m) for a 10 per cent slice of slimming company Weight Watchers.

The acquisition scored the businesswoman nearly 6.4 million shares of the firm.

Weight Watchers is one of the world's leading weight loss brand, but fewer people have been subscribing to classes, with rival mobile apps and activity monitors a contributing cause.

"We are expanding our purpose from focusing on weight loss alone to more broadly helping people lead a healthier, happier life," said Weight Watchers chief Jim Chambers.

As a result of the five-year partnership, Weight Watchers has earned the right to use Winfrey’s name, image, likeness and endorsement for the brand’s programs, products and services with her approval. Oprah has also received the right to use the Weight Watchers brand and logo for collaborative promotional efforts, Madame Noire reported.

Winfrey will also be joining the weight loss and maintenance company’s board of directors. With the television personality’s recent inclusion, the Weight Watchers board has expanded from nine to ten members.

Winfrey has often spoken about her struggle with her weight and a thyroid problem that had led her to weigh 90kg (200lb) in 2008.

According to Weight Watchers, Winfrey became an adviser as well as a regular member of the program who would "candidly share her experiences and perspective along the way."

"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 in a statement. "I believe in the program so much I decided to invest in the company and partner in its evolution."

Winfrey will also advise the company on programme development and future products.

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