SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Bikram Choudhury Yoga Inc., which popularized the concept of “hot yoga,” filed for bankruptcy protection under chapter 11 Nov. 9, PRNewswire reported. In the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct, the company is struggling with mounting liabilities.
Anthony John A. Bryan, CEO of The Watley Group, LLC, a Los Angeles-based restructuring and bankruptcy specialist, has been retained as its chief restructuring officer. Bryan has been granted complete independence and authority to investigate claims, make recoveries, turn around the company, and file a Plan of Reorganization.
"My plan is to reorganize and rebuild the Bikram brand since at this stage, we believe the liquidation value is far less than the value as a reorganized entity. As we rebuild a new and stronger Bikram Yoga, we look forward to the help and support of the Bikram community and assure them the new and reorganized company will celebrate the benefits of Bikram Yoga and expand the community we are honored to serve," Bryan commented.
According to a Reuters report, the yoga studio is faced with $16.7 in legal judgments and numerous lawsuits and allegations of sexual misconduct, adding that it founder, Indian American Bikram Choudhury, has been accused of sexual assault by some of yoga practitioners, students, instructors and teacher trainees, charges he has denied.
A warrant for Choudhury’s arrest was issued in May.