Oprah Winfrey is grabbing a second helping of WW International, the diet company popularly known as Weight Watchers.
WW on Monday said Winfrey will continue to advise the company for another five years, through 2025, as a board member and shareholder. News of the extension sent WW’s stock up by 4 percent in intraday trading Monday.
WW is also grating Winfrey, its second-largest shareholder, the option to buy an additional 3.3 million WW shares at $38.84 per share, representing 4.3 percent of WW’s common stock. The added shares would increase Winfrey’s stake in WW to 12.3 percent from 8 percent.
“I believe in WW’s mission and the power of its program to create positive, lasting change for everyone who wants a partner to help support them in pursuing a stronger, healthier life,” Winfrey said in a statement. “I am fully committed to WW’s future and our continued partnership, and I intend to continue my service on WW’s board of directors into 2025.”
WW shares, which were recently trading higher 3.6 percent to $39.34 a share, have risen close to 500 percent since Oprah first joined forces with WW in 2015. At that time she scooped up 6.4 million shares at $6.79 apiece in a deal that made her WW’s public face. The stock has been sagging in recent months, however, amid competition from other diet fads, including the keto diet and is roughly flat for the year.
In her own statement, WW CEO Mindy Grossman called the company and Winfrey “fully aligned on the opportunity for WW to lead in the democratization of wellness.”
She also cited Winfrey’s ability to motivate people “live their best lives,” citing as an example “WW Presents: Oprah’s 2020 Vision” – a nine-city tour that kicks off on Jan. 4 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.