Quebecor says it wants to 'rescue' struggling Cirque du Soleil, but needs financial details

Quebecor wants to proceed with the “rescue” of Cirque du Soleil, which has been searching for a way to bail itself out, and then to inject “several hundreds of millions of dollars” to restart the circus company’s activities.

In a statement released Monday, however, the telecommunications conglomerate said it has been unable to obtain details about Cirque du Soleil’s finances, saying there had been a "blockage" by the circus company’s management.

Cirque du Soleil, which laid off 4,679 employees — 95 per cent of its workforce — on March 19, has been exploring various options to keep its head above water. The company could try to restructure its debt or even be protected from its creditors.

The debt of the company founded by Guy Laliberté is estimated at $900 million USD. Its main shareholder is the American investment fund TPG Capital, with a 60 per cent stake, compared to 20 per cent for the Chinese firm Fosun Capital Group and 20 per cent for the CDPQ Quebec pension fund.

In February, the CDPQ bought Laliberté’s 10 per cent stake. The amount of the transaction hasn’t been disclosed, but the block of shares held by the businessman was estimated at a value of well over $100 million.

This report was first published by The Canadian Press on May 4, 2020.

SIGN UP NOW

Stay up-to-date and in-the-know by subscribing to one of our newsletters