20231119 miss universe
Miss Universe 2023, Sheynnis Palacios from Nicaragua, waves after winning the 72th edition of the Miss Universe pageant, in San Salvador. Image Credit: AFP

BANGKOK: The Thai media company that owns Miss Universe has sold half of its stake in the long-running beauty pageant to a Mexican company for $16 million.

The sale, announced to the Bangkok stock market on Tuesday, comes two months after JKN Global Group, which bought the pageant in 2022, filed for bankruptcy.

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The deal with Mexico's Legacy Holding group will "build the brand's international profile and allow for new product and marketing opportunities", the Miss Universe Organization said in a statement.

JKN Global, owned by media mogul Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip, bought the pageant - previously owned by former US president Donald Trump - in 2022 for $20 million.

The company filed for bankruptcy in November to gain time to deal with a "liquidity problem" after missing a deadline to repay bonds worth around $12 million.

The latest iteration of the seven-decade-old beauty contest was won by Nicaraguan Sheynnis Palacios.

She was the first woman from Central America to win the title, and her victory sparked the largest celebrations in Nicaragua since street protests in 2018 jolted the government.