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Miss Universe owner Anne Jakrajutatip troubled by debt issues

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Sep 01, 2023 3:03 pm

The owner of the Miss Universe organization, Anne Jakrajutatip, is facing debt problems after her company has accumulated an outstanding debt of 443 million baht (P713 million) for its JKN239A debentures.

According to a report by Bangkok Post, the shares of Thai media and content conglomerate JKN Global Group, which had acquired the Miss Universe organization last year, plunged after CEO Jakrajutatip failed to pay 609 million baht (P980 million) worth of debentures.

While Jakrajutatip assured the Stock Exchange of Thailand that they would pay 26 percent or 156.6 million baht (P252 million)—146.62 million (P236 million) in principal and 9.98 million (P15 million) in interest—on Sept. 1, they would still have a balance of 443 million baht.

Because of the financial issues, JKN received a sharp decline in shares.

Gun Hathaisattha, an analyst at CGS-CIMB Securities, told Krungthep Turakij newspaper that the cause of the company's liquidity problems was their failure to secure funding. He advised investors to avoid JKN’s debentures as well as the company’s ordinary shares.

"As JKN shares are on the selling trend, investors who can not bear the risk should not consider keeping them," Gun said. "JKN’s balance sheet, budget and cash flow point to a tight situation ahead."

Jakrajutatip said that they are planning to meet with the debenture holders on Sept. 29 to discuss a repayment delay. Should they approve, the overdue payment would not be considered a default as earlier contracted, and debenture holders would not demand an immediate repayment.

"The company firmly believes in its capacity to uphold the repayment plan pertaining to principal and interest obligations with various sources of funding being considered," Jakrajutatip said.

"In this regard, the company confirms and reiterates its commitment, to complete repayment of both principal and interest attached to the JKN239A debenture, alongside any other debentures issued by the company," she continued.

This is only the first of seven tranches of JKN Global Group's debt worth 3.36 billion baht. The Thai Bond Market Association detailed that the six other tranches need to be paid by Sept 11, Oct 20, Nov 10, 13, 15, and 24.

These are worth 300 million (P483 million), 578.6 million (P931 million), 400 million (P644 million), 800 million (P1.2 billion), 525 million (P845 million), and 156.6 million baht (P252 million).

JKN acquired the Miss Universe organization from IMG back in October 2022, making Jakrajutajip the pageant's new owner. Established in 2014, JKN is one of the biggest content management and distribution companies in her country, partnering with media giants like Walt Disney, CBS, and Sony.