Cirque du Soleil files for bankruptcy protection

Cirque du Soleil files for bankruptcy protection

Canada’s Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group filed for bankruptcy protection as the COVID-19 pandemic forced the famed circus operator to cancel shows and lay off its artistes.

The Montreal-based entertainment company, which runs six shows in Las Vegas, has struggled to keep its business running amid coronavirus restrictions that started in March, forcing it to lay off about 95% of its workforce and temporarily suspend its shows.

"With zero revenue since the forced closure of all of our shows due to COVID-19, the management had to act decisively to protect the company’s future," Chief Executive Officer Daniel Lamarre said.

The company has signed an agreement with its existing investors private equity fund TPG Capital, China’s Fosun International Ltd, and Canadian pension fund Caisse de depot et placement du Québec under which the group will take over Cirque’s liabilities and invest $300 million to support a restart.

As part of the investment, government body Investissement Québec will provide $200 million in debt financing, Reuters reported.

The company also said the artists and show staff of resident shows in Las Vegas and Orlando, which are expected to resume before the rest of its shows, would not be impacted by the layoffs.

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