Bug-plagued cir­cus files bank­ruptcy

New York Daily News - - NEWS -

Cirque du Soleil an­nounced Mon­day it was fil­ing for bank­ruptcy pro­tec­tion, blam­ing “im­mense dis­rup­tion and forced show clo­sures as a re­sult of the COVID-19 pan­demic.”

The Montreal-based en­ter­tain­ment com­pany also said it was en­ter­ing a “stalk­ing horse” agree­ment with some of its ex­ist­ing stake­hold­ers, TPG, Fo­sun and Caisse de dépôt et place­ment du Québec, who are mak­ing a takeover bid.

“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,” Pres­i­dent and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Daniel La­marre said in a state­ment. The com­pany’s 3,480 em­ploy­ees who had been fur­loughed are be­ing laid off, he added.

Part of the the stalk­ing horse ar­range­ment in­cludes $20 mil­lion for those per­ma­nently los­ing their jobs. The com­pany will seek ap­proval for pro­tec­tions from a court in Que­bec and, if granted, will seek sim­i­lar ap­proval from a U.S. court.

Cirque du Soleil had six shows run­ning in Las Ve­gas, in­clud­ing “Zu­man­ity” and “The Bea­tles LOVE,” be­fore shut­ting down on March 14.

Though casi­nos have re­opened in Ne­vada, shows like Cirque du Soleil’s have not re­sumed busi­ness un­der the state’s guide­lines re­gard­ing large crowds.

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