Cirque du Soleil files for bankruptcy protection as COVID-19 cancels shows

  • Cirque du Soleil files for bankruptcy protection as COVID-19 cancels shows

Cirque du Soleil files for bankruptcy protection as COVID-19 cancels shows

The filing comes three months after Cirque temporarily suspended production of its shows.

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

As expected, the company said in its filing announcement the refinancing move was "in response to huge disruption and forced show closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic".

Montreal-based Cirque filed for protection from creditors in Canada on Monday after the coronavirus pandemic forced it to close shows around the world, triggering a fight for control of one of the best-known brands in live performance. I look forward to rebuilding our operations and coming together to once again create the magic spectacle that is Cirque du Soleil for our millions of fans worldwide.

As part of the restructuring, Cirque said it would lay off 3,480 employees who had been furloughed during the COVID-19 disruptions.

Cirque du Soleil said it had struck a deal to avoid bankruptcy under which its existing shareholders TPG, Fosun and Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec will take over the firm's liabilities and invest $300m (£244m) in the business.

It also said shareholders would set aside $20m to provide additional relief to affected employees and contractors. They will also receive repayment of a $50 million interim loan. However, this does not affect the artists and show staff of the resident shows in Las Vegas and Orlando, as they are expected to resume before the rest of the company's shows elsewhere.

Cirque du Soleil's application for bankruptcy protection will be heard on Tuesday by the Superior Court of Quebec.

Cirque du Soleil, the producer of a number of Las Vegas acrobatic shows, has filed for bankruptcy.

The Montreal-based company, which has about United States $1.6 billion in debt and other liabilities, requested protection through the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act in Canada on Monday afternoon.