The Thai owner of the Miss Universe pageant has filed for bankruptcy a year after buying the pageant and pushing to make it more inclusive.
JKN Global Group purchased Miss Universe, which was co-owned by Donald Trump from 1996 to 2015, for $20 million (£16.4 million) in 2022.
Under the group’s ownership, the pageant has permitted mothers and married women to participate in the contest for the first time from this year, as well as transgender women.
Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip, the company’s chief executive, is a transgender woman who has aimed to expand JKN’s broadcasting rights business and driven the push for inclusivity.
The annual competition, which is broadcast in 165 countries, has a history spanning some seven decades.
Its revised format this year will see two trans women compete for the first time after Rikkie Valerie Kolle became the first transgender woman to be crowned Miss Netherlands in July and Marina Machete was crowned Miss Portugal last month.
JKN, whose share price has fallen by more than 80 per cent in the last year, said it would try to resolve the “liquidity problem” it is facing by restructuring its debt.
[Ed: Every bullet has a silver lining.]