Oprah Winfrey Pays $43 Million to Become a Partial Owner of Weight Watchers—Read the Announcement!

Media mogul become a part possessor of popular weight-loss brand

By Samantha Schnurr Oct 20, 2015 12:00 AMTags
Oprah WinfreyLuis Guerra/AKM-GSI

UPDATE: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Oprah Winfrey made about $45 million in the stock market on Monday simply for revealing she bought shares of Weight Watchers International. The stock also spiked 105 percent, closing the day at $13.92.


You get a Weight Watchers membership, and you get a Weight Watchers membership. Everyone gets a Weight Watchers membership!

If Oprah Winfrey still had her award-winning daytime talk show, this would be the script for today's episode. The media mogul and CEO of the Oprah Winfrey Network is adding one more position to her lengthy resume: part owner of the international weight loss company Weight Watchers.

She now has her own seat on the company's board of directors and is set to own 10 percent of the company, purchasing 6.4 million shares at Friday's closing price of $6.79 per share for $43.2 million, according to Reuters. Not exactly what you'd call chump change.

The multi-decade member of the diet franchise arena—which boasts a proven point system for participants to track how much they should eat to maximize weight loss per day—announced its new ownership on its Facebook page, saying in a statement: "We're thrilled to share some big news today—Oprah Winfrey has joined our Board and is a part owner of Weight Watchers! She's a Member on her own personal journey toward success, and she believes so much in what we do and our mission that she wants to work with us to inspire people around the world to lead healthier and more fulfilling lives. We are thrilled to count one of the world's most inspiring women among our #WWFamily and are so excited for what the future holds! 'O' it's an exciting day!"

"O" it certainly is! As expected, the wildly successful mogul has already seen early gains within her new investment as shares sky rocketed as much as 90 percent in pre-market trading Monday before leveling for trade around 60 percent to $10.96—a major turn after stocks declined by 73 percent throughout the year. 

The long-time broadcast journalist has publicly battled her own weight loss issues for decades, partaking in weight-loss segments on The Oprah Winfrey Show and famously wheeling out a wagon filled with animal fat during an episode to commemorate her 67 pound weight loss—a moment Winfrey has since publicly regretted as she later gained some back. 

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

While Winfrey is presumably thrilled about her latest career move, we can think of someone equally as happy—BFF Gayle King! King recently revealed to fans that she was embarking on a weight loss journey of her own using Weight Watchers after stepping on the scale to a slight shock.  

"First week on @weightwatchers!" she shared on Instagram. "So far no cheating...Long long way to go..."

Two weeks ago, she went from 184.5 lbs. to 179.5 lbs. "Watching the scale go down... Started@weightwatchers sept 12th &wish it was more loss!" she wrote. "But as fellow fatty mc fat fats know once you break a barrier it is a victory ! No more weight in the 180's (we hope)."

While successful weight loss is never an overnight success, it looks like King's lifelong pal Winfrey will be along for yet another ride. 

(Originally published October 19, 2015 at 7:35 a.m. PST)