Cirque du Soleil files for bankruptcy protection

By Justine Coleman
The Hill
Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group filed for bankruptcy protection after its global shows were shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, the company announced Monday.
The Montreal-based company in a press release attributed the decision to the “immense disruption and forced show closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.” It sought protection from creditors in Canada under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to restructure its balance sheet.
The company also revealed it entered a court-supervised purchase agreement with its shareholders, including Texas-based TPG Capital and China-based Fosun Capital Group. The deal includes a $20 million fund to support the 3,500 employees who have been laid off.
The agreement will also involve $300 million of liquidity injected to help restart the company. It will also give Cirque du Soleil’s existing secured creditors $50 million of unsecured, takeback debt, as well as 45 percent equity stake in the restructured company.
David Lamarre, the president and CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, said in a statement that the action will allow the company to emerge “stronger.”
“For the past 36 years, Cirque du Soleil has been a highly successful and profitable organization. However, with zero revenues since the forced closure of all of our shows due to COVID-19, management had to act decisively to protect the company’s future,” he said.
“I look forward to rebuilding our operations and coming together to once again create the magical spectacle that is Cirque du Soleil for our millions of fans worldwide,” he added.
Cirque du Soleil’s application will be heard in the Superior Court of Quebec Tuesday, The Hollywood Reporter reported.
In March, Cirque du Soleil temporarily laid off 4,679 employees who made up 95 percent of its total workforce. The company also suspended 44 shows around the world due to the pandemic, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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