Bug-plagued circus files bankruptcy
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.