Oprah Winfrey will buy 10 % of Weight Watchers and is set to serve on the the company’s Board of Directors in the hopes that her star status will take the struggling weightloss giant to new heights.
In recent years dieters have snubbed Weight Watchers in favour of other, cheaper dieting programmes that have a large online presence.
However, her announcement on Monday caused the company’s shares to sky rocket by 90%.
Ms Winfrey believes in the product
Her investment, which totals some R 567 Mil ($43.2 Mil), comes with the option to buy 5% more at a later stage.
As part of the transaction, Winfrey also signed up to the Weight Watchers programme where she will share her experiences and milestones, having struggled with her weight in the past. “I believe in the product” Winfrey said.
Oprah will also serve as a consultant to assist with the further development the programme. Weight Watchers needed the boost desperately, as they were struggling with a decrease in sales and profits with users opting to use free and digital calorie counting apps to lose weight.
Weight Watchers was started by a New York housewife in the late 1960s, with the core function of developing low-fat eating plans, food products and support groups for anyone wanting to lose weight.
Weight Watchers has a cult following
The diet has something of a cult following and counts Hollywood A-listers Jennifer Hudson and Jessica Simpson as fans. Simpson lost more than 22 kilograms after giving birth to her son Ace in 2013, but has since cut ties with the company.
The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, who was a former ambassador for Weight Watchers, also famously lost 22kgs on the diet.
Weight Watchers, according to their website, works by assigning every food a PointsPlus® value
based on its protein, carbohydrate fat and fibre content. It takes into
account how your body processes food and nudges you toward healthier
options. The company will now also focus on wellness and inspire dieters via a Weight Watchers app.
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