Cirque du Soleil files for bankruptcy protection as COVID-19 cancels shows

Cirque du Soleil files for creditor protection, terminates 3,480 employees

Cirque du Soleil files for bankruptcy protection as COVID-19 cancels shows

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.

"With zero revenue since the forced closure of all of our shows due to Covid-19, the management had to act decisively", said boss Daniel Lamarre.

The company was forced to shutdown all of its productions due to COVID-19, and it is not yet clear on what the future is of those shows, including the new show at Disney Springs - Drawn to Life.

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.

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

As part of the company's restructuring, approximately 3,480 employees that were previously furloughed back in March have been terminated.

It said it meant to rehire "a substantial majority" of terminated employees, business conditions allowing, once coronavirus-related shutdowns were lifted and operations could resume.

About 700 of them would be in Las Vegas, where the company earned about 40 per cent of its $1 billion in revenue past year and where it hopes to open a show as early as November, Chief Executive Officer Daniel Lamarre said in an interview.

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In connection with the filing, Cirque du Soleil says it has entered into a "stalking horse" purchase agreement with its existing shareholders.

Cirque du Soleil's application for bankruptcy protection will be heard on Tuesday by the Superior Court of Quebec.

However, this does not affect the artists and show staff of the resident shows in Las Vegas and Orlando, as they are expected to resume before the rest of the company's shows elsewhere.

It has almost US$1.6 billion in liabilities. Cirque du Soleil also produces six shows in residence in Las Vegas, including the world-renowned "O" and "The Beatles LOVE", which were also shut down by the pandemic.

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