Miss Universe 2023 Pageant to Push Through Amid Thai Owner’s Financial Woes
Nov 13, 2023 02:55 AM EST
(Photo : Getty Images/Jason Kempin)
Anne Jakrajutatip speaks during The 71st Miss Universe Competition at New Orleans Morial Convention Center on January 14, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The 72nd Miss Universe Pageant will proceed as planned Saturday in San Salvador, El Salvador, despite reported financial difficulties faced by its Thai owner, JKN Global Group.
Ahead of the finale at the José Adolfo Pineda Arena Saturday, the company said in a statement posted on its website that giving Miss Universe fans a "top-notch experience" remains its top priority.
This confirmation came after reports surfaced that the Thai media company filed for bankruptcy just a week before the grand pageant.
CNN reported that on Thursday, Thailand's bankruptcy court accepted JKN Global Group's petition for "business rehabilitation," a move tantamount to declaring bankruptcy and seeking the accompanying legal protections.
Despite what it called a "liquidity problem," JKN Global Group said it will continue to operate until its hearing in bankruptcy court in January.
JKN Global Group chief refutes "bankruptcy" reports
JKN Global Group, whose owner is Anne Jakkaphong Jakrajutatip, announced a plan to refinance its debt and rehabilitate its business.
"While our operating cash is intact and the company will continue to run operations as planned, this is a necessary step in our growth to ensure that our debt is repaid and the company remains financially healthy," the firm said in a statement released via Miss Universe's Facebook Story and shared by JKN's CEO on the platform.
Jakrajutatip also took to Facebook to clear her company's name and explain to her followers that JKN Global Group is going through a "business rehabilitation" instead of "bankruptcy."
"It's false news by using the word 'Bankruptcy' as it is in fact called Business Rehab," the transgender rights advocate wrote. "Bankruptcy simply means your business is gone, but [a] 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. "
However, in the United States, the term "bankruptcy" can be used for two dire financial situations: Chapter 7 bankruptcy, often referred to as "liquidation" bankruptcy, and Chapter 11 bankruptcy, commonly known as "reorganization" bankruptcy.
What prompted JKN Global Group's business rehabilitation
JKN Global Group acquired the Miss Universe brand just last year for $20 million. Having secured funds for the acquisition through bond issuance, JKN faced financial strain when it failed to meet a $12 million loan repayment deadline on Sept. 1.
JKN postponed bond payments because of economic challenges on both global and domestic fronts, including high inflation and "market conditions," the company stated.