Cirque Du Soleil Bankruptcy: 3,480 Employees Terminated, Stalking Horse Bidder Secured

Andrew Cummings
June 30, 2020

When the wave of COVID-19 closures hit, the debut was postponed indefinitely, and while no new dates have been announced, company officials believe the show may premiere in the Fall, considering there are no health and safety restrictions on shows.

Current Cirque CEO Daniel Lamarre said the company will return stronger, but any transition likely won't happen until the fall.

Under a Canadian Act, similar to Chapter 11 bankruptcy law in the USA the company is filing under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) as the COVID-19 pandemic forced the famed circus to cancel shows and lay off its artistes.

I look forward to rebuilding our operations and coming together to once again create the magic spectacle that is Cirque du Soleil for our millions of fans worldwide.

The Texan fund TPG Capital (with a 60 per cent stake), the Chinese firm Fosun (20 per cent) and the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (20 per cent) will inject US$100 million, while Investissement Quebec will provide a US$200-million loan.

The Montreal-based circus arts show company temporarily suspended productions around the world in March because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The firm said it had entered an agreement under which its existing shareholders will take over Cirque's liabilities and invest $300m (£244m) in the business.

Its said the sponsors´ bid includes an intent to rehire a substantial majority of the terminated employees, business conditions allowing, when its operations can resume.

It has almost US$1.6 billion in liabilities.

The application is scheduled to be heard by the Quebec Superior Court Tuesday and the company will also seek its immediate provisional recognition in the USA under Chapter 15. Cirque du Soleil laid off 4,679 employees - about 95 per cent of its workforce - on March 19 after shutting down 44 productions to comply with government orders around the world.

Among the Las Vegas shows impacted by the closing of the theaters were "Mystère" at Treasure Island, "O" at the Bellagio, "Zumanity" at New York New York, "KÀ" at the MGM Grand, "The Beatles LOVE" at The Mirage, "Michael Jackson ONE" at Mandalay Bay and "Blue Man Group".

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