Miss Universe Owner Files for Debt Rescue in Thailand Days Before The Pageant; All You Need To Know
JKN Global Group, the Thai media company and the new owner of the Miss Universe pageant, has filed for a “business rehabilitation” plan, which is similar to bankruptcy. The firm bought the pageant for $20 million in 2022. JKN Global Thursday announced that it has submitted a petition for business rehabilitation to restructure its debt and liabilities. The application has been accepted by Thailand’s Bankruptcy Court, as per CNN.
Miss Universe brand owner JKN Global Group, owned by media mogul and transgender rights campaigner Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip, said it filed for bankruptcy after it failed to repay bonds worth around $12 million but said operations will continue.— ABS-CBN News (@ABSCBNNews) November 9, 2023
Read more:… pic.twitter.com/6F9WOcUlxi
However, the company's owner and media mogul, Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip, has clarified that the company hasn't filed for bankruptcy but for a distinct alternative to it.
Bankruptcy simply means your business is gone, but BUSINESS REHABILITATION program means JKN aims to preserve the continuity and integrity of the businesses, allowing JKN to generate improved returns for creditors and investors through restructuring efforts. pic.twitter.com/whtPVOLwtA— Anne Jakrajutatip 💫 แอน จักรพงษ์ (@annejknofficial) November 9, 2023
The announcement comes days before the 72nd edition of Miss Universe pageant in El Salvador. The pageant has a history spanning seven decades and it is broadcast in over 165 countries. In the upcoming edition, the current titleholder R'Bonney Gabriel of the United States will crown her successor.
What is the JKN Global Group?
JKN Global Group Public Company Limited is a Thai multinational conglomerate owned by media mogul and transgender rights campaigner Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip. Jakrajutatip became the first non-American transgender owner of the Miss Universe Pageant.
Her company buys dramas and other content worldwide for distribution on television channels. It also produces its own programs. JKN reported a net profit for the first half of this year, but its liabilities have increased multiple-fold since the end of 2019. JKN planned to use Miss Universe as a foothold to accelerate the overseas expansion of its broadcasting rights business.
Miss Universe Peagent’s Acquisition
JKN Global bought the pageant from the media company IMG in 2022 for $20 million. At the time, Anne Jakkaphong Jakrajutatip said that it planned to grow the Miss Universe Organization by expanding in Asia and releasing branded merchandise, CNN reported.
The pageant has undergone several changes under JKN. It will allow mothers and married women to participate in the contest from this year and it will also feature at least two trans women for the first time. Marina Machete, a 23-year-old flight attendant who was crowned Miss Portugal last month, and Rikkie Kollé, who became the first transgender winner of Miss Netherlands in July, will participate in the pageant.
“Trans women are women, full stop,” the Miss Universe Organization stated last month as per CNN. Earlier in 2018, Spain’s Ángela Ponce was the pageant’s first trans contestant, but she did not advance to the finals.
#WATCH : Miss Palmela, Marina Machete crowned as Miss Universe Portugal 2023 Her victory was historic as she became the first-ever transgender woman to become Miss Universe Portugal.#MarinaMachete #MissUniversePortugal #MissUniverse2023 #MissUniverse #transgender #Portugal… pic.twitter.com/HBBB63qZde— upuknews (@upuknews1) October 7, 2023
What Went Wrong For JKN Global?
When the company bought the Miss Universe Pageant, the funding for the deal was raised through bonds which increased the firm’s liabilities. It then missed a repayment deadline of around $12 million, which was due on September 1. The payments for its bonds were also delayed citing global and domestic economic challenges.
As of June 30, JKN Global had total liabilities of about 7.4 billion baht ($209 million), almost half of which were owed to bond investors, a filing indicated as per a Bloomberg report.
The company’s stock dropped by the daily limit of 30% to a record low of 0.76 baht, extending its slump to 81%. This put the company in a liquidity crunch due to which it filed for the petition.
What Next For JKN Global?
The “business rehabilitation” plan submitted by the company includes the request for an extension of debt repayment and waiver of interest charges to increase income from operations to service all creditors, as per the official statement, Bloomberg said. The company will also look for financial support from new investors or a financial institution at the same time. The plan will also offer a guideline for the sale of non-productive assets to raise funds.
However, under the court’s proceeding, the company will continue operating. "Submitting the rehabilitation petition will effectively solve the Company's liquidity problem under legal mechanism and provide fair protection to all stakeholders," the statement said as per SCMP.
Future of the Miss Universe Pageant
JKN Global has stated that the pageant is clean and will continue to operate as planned. It has been confirmed that next week’s pageant will go ahead, without any concerns and the three broadcasts will happen as per schedule.
As Miss Universe suffered a dramatic ratings decline in the last five years, the billionaire CEO of JKN Global had planned to make some fundamental changes to the show. The company had also stated that it plans to create a reality show which will capture the contestants in their journey, the build up to the show, the competition and victory, as per TIME.
📢 "[Miss Universe is] gonna be run by women, owned by a trans woman, for all women around the world to celebrate the power of feminism."— Openly 🏳️🌈 (@Openly) January 16, 2023
🏳️⚧️ Miss Universe's new trans owner, Anne Jakrajutatip, said "time is up" for a male-run pageant at this year's final.pic.twitter.com/VraQ8jNx8h
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