Oprah Winfrey Partners With Weight Watchers, Becomes Part Owner of the Company

by Jackie Willis 8:10 AM PDT, October 19, 2015
Playing Oprah Winfrey Partners With Weight Watchers, Becomes Part Owner of the Company

Oprah Winfrey has joined Weight Watchers in a big way!

The 61-year-old icon has partnered and purchased shares of the weight-loss company in an effort to "to inspire people around the world to lead a healthier and more fulfilling life." She now owns 10 percent of the dieting brand, thus making her a board member and adviser.

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

Once news broke of Weight Watchers' partnership with the Queen of Talk on Monday morning, the company's stock went up 53 percent in pre-market trading to $10.36. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing obtained by USA Today, Oprah purchased her shares at $6.79 for a total investment of $43.2 million.

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Oprah has the option to purchase another five percent of the company, and if she does so, CNBC reports that she will become the second-largest shareholder in the company.

Now that Oprah's on board, Weight Watchers President and CEO, Jim Chambers, says the company wants to more than just help their members drop a few pounds.

"We are expanding our purpose from focusing on weight loss alone to more broadly helping people lead a healthier, happier life," Chambers said. "Through our conversations, it became clear that there is tremendous alignment between Oprah's intention and our mission. We believe that her remarkable ability to connect and inspire people to realize their full potential is uniquely complementary to our powerful community, extraordinary coaches and proven approach."

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In addition to owning a stake in the company, Oprah is also becoming a member and will candidly share her experiences with slimming down. On her website, Oprah has previously documented her "very personal, and very public, weight loss journey."

"Like millions of women, it's been the battle of my life," she said of her weight in one of the flashback clips from her former talk show. "It is a battle that I'm still fighting every waking moment of my life."

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ET's Nancy O'Dell recently sat down with Oprah to talk about another one of her journeys. The former talk show host is going to the "next level" with her new OWN program, Believe, that's all about faith and religion. Here's what she told ET about the series: