Cirque du Soleil lays off members of Blue Man Group

Cirque du Soleil performers in Las Vegas Nevada

Cirque du Soleil performers in Las Vegas Nevada

Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada on Monday in an effort to restructure its operations as it faces pressure from closed shows due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Read the full story HERE. It will also seek its immediate provisional recognition in the United States under Chapter 15.

The cuts of 3,480 employees come from the over 4,600 individuals who were furloughed back in March, with multiple reports saying that Cirque du Soleil is almost $1 billion in debt.

Cirque entered into a so-called stalking horse purchase agreement with its shareholders - TPG, Shanghai-based Fosun International Ltd. and Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec - for a USA $300 million injection of liquidity. Under the deal, the firms will provide Cirque with $300 million of liquidity to help it resume operations at some point in the future.

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"For the past 36 years, Cirque du Soleil has been a highly successful and profitable organization", says Daniel Lamarre, president and CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group.

Cirque is drowning in almost $1 billion in debt, according to CNN Business.

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

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At the same time, Investissement Québec, the financial arm of the provincial government, will provide US$200 million in debt financing to support the proposed acquisition.

Along with the attempt to reduce debt via the CCAA, the company set up what's called a "stalking horse" purchase agreement, paving the way for investors to purchase the company at a reduced price.

"We see no reason why they didn't engage in negotiating a definitive agreement with our group and chose to enter into an agreement with the out of the money equity holder TPG for a transaction that they knew their secured creditors had already rejected", said Tuck Hardie, a managing director at Houlihan Lokey which is acting an adviser to the creditors committee.

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