Trump breaks up with Miss Universe

© Steve Marcus
Billionaire presidential hopeful Donald Trump has sold the Miss Universe organization to Hollywood talent agency WME/IMG, just days after becoming the sole owner of the company.

"I have truly enjoyed owning the Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA pageants. When I purchased the pageants many years ago, they were in serious trouble. It has been a great honor making them so successful … The pageants are now in the hands of a great company that will shepherd them to even greater levels of success,” Trump said.

Last week the billionaire bought back a 51 percent stake from NBCUniversal, ending a 13-year partnership with the company. The sides did not disclose the price of the purchase.

READ MORE: NBC severs business ties to Donald Trump after insulting Mexicans

Business relations between Trump and his former partner TV network NBC soured in June when the broadcaster refused to air the Miss USA pageant. This followed Trump’s controversial statements about Mexican immigrants when he announced his presidential run.

“They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists,” Trump said, adding "some, I assume, are good people."

Donald Trump Presidential Announcement Full Speech, insults about Mexico begin 07:26

This also caused Univision, the largest Spanish language TV network, to end its relationship with Trump calling his comments insulting.

Trump acquired 100 percent ownership of the Miss Universe Organization in 1996. Seven years later he sold a stake to NBCUniversal when the network started broadcasting the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants.

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The Miss Universe Organization, which includes the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants, has a value between $5 million and $25 million, according to Trump’s financial disclosures. The organization generated $3.4 million in income for Trump last year.

Property tycoon Trump, whose net worth is estimated at $9 billion, is running for the Republican candidature in the 2016 presidential election. In 2012 he fueled speculation about running for president, but didn’t enter the race.

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