Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip, bought the pageant – previously owned by former US president Donald Trump – in 2022.
The Thai media company that owns the Miss Universe beauty pageant brand said on Thursday it had filed for bankruptcy while it tries to resolve a “liquidity problem”.
JKN Global Group made the announcement in a statement to the Thai Stock Exchange two months after it missed a deadline to repay bonds worth around $12 million.
The company, owned by media mogul and transgender rights campaigner Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip, bought the pageant – previously owned by former US president Donald Trump – in 2022 for $20 million.
JKN’s statement said its board of directors agreed on Tuesday to submit a business rehabilitation plan to the kingdom’s bankruptcy court.
“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.
Operations will continue under the plan, it added.
JKN’s share price has dropped by nearly 80% over the past 12 months, standing at 0.77 baht (about R0.40) on Thursday.
Miss Universe 2023 to go ahead as planned
However, shortly after news of the bankruptcy broke, the company issued a statement on their website that Miss Universe 2023 would be held in El Salvador on 18 November.
Miss SA 2023 first runner-up Bryoni Govender jetted off to El Salvador at the beginning of November to represent South Africa in the 72nd Miss Universe pageant.