Cirque du Soleil files for bankruptcy

Cirque du Soleil has filed for bankruptcy. The Canadian circus giant said it will cut 3,500 jobs, but has plans to restructure and re-launch.

The company suspended both its fixed location and touring shows in March due to COVID-19. As a result, it lost millions in revenue and can no longer continue to operate.

Current shareholders TPG, Fosun and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec plan on buying Cirque du Soleil’s assets and re-launching the company. Investissement Québec will give USD200m (€179m) in debt financing to support the purchase.

As part of the agreement, they will provide USD300m to: “provide relief for Cirque du Soleil’s affected employees and partners, and assume certain of the company’s outstanding liabilities, including with respect to ticketholders affected by the cancellation of the shows.”

Specifically, USD20m has been allocated to support impacted employees and independent contractors.

“For the past 36 years, Cirque du Soleil has been a highly successful and profitable organisation,” said president and CEO Daniel Lamarre. “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.”