Cirque du Soleil files for bankruptcy, to shed 3,500 jobs

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

The company, which is based in Canada, pinpointed the “immense disruption and forced show closures as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic” as the major factor behind its bankruptcy. It said that it is aiming to restructure its debt with assistance from the Canadian government and private equity firms.

The statement comes three months after Cirque du Soleil temporarily suspended production of its shows, including six in Las Vegas. It also has around 10 exhibits on tour around the world, including “O”, “Michael Jackson One” and “Messi”.

Cirque du Soleil presented an initial offer from its biggest sponsors, including a combination of multinational private equity firms from the United States, China and Canada for $ 420 million.

The company also received $ 300 million in new funds to “support a successful restart, provide relief to affected Cirque du Soleil employees and partners and take on certain of the company’s outstanding obligations,” according to the statement.

The company is drowning in nearly $ 1 billion of debt, according to multiple reports. Something that became increasingly unsustainable as their productions remain suspended. To help stop the financial loss, Cirque laid off approximately 3,500 employees.

“For the past 36 years, Cirque du Soleil has been a highly successful and profitable organization,” said Daniel Lamarre, CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, in a statement. “However, with zero revenue since the forced suspension of all our shows due to the Covid-19, management had to act decisively to protect the future of the company,” he added.

via Reuters / CNN

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