Cirque du Soleil files for creditor protection amid COVID-19 woes

Cirque du Soleil files for creditor protection, terminates 3,480 employees

The company said that it has brought in zero revenue since COVID-19 forced the French-Canadian circus group to shut down all of its performances, including six in Las Vegas and suspend 44 of its live shows internationally back in March.

Canada's Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday as the COVID-19 pandemic forced the famed circus operator to cancel shows and lay off its artistes.

"If the court grants the initial order sought, the company will seek its immediate provisional recognition in the United States under Chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court", the statement reads.

Creditors of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group are set to turn down a proposal led by TPG that would leave them with a 45-per-cent stake in the company in exchange for wiping out most of its debt.

Cirque du Soleil, the producer of numerous acrobatic theater shows like La Nouba, which played at Disney World for almost 20 years and the maker of a new show that was scheduled to appear earlier in the year, has filed for bankruptcy, CNN reported Monday.

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Under the terms of the proposed Purchase Agreement, the sponsors will inject US$300 million of liquidity into the business' restructure to help a successful restart by providing relief for Cirque du Soleil's affected employees, partners, and current ticket holders.

In March, the company furloughed more than 4,000 people, or 95% of its workforce, and temporarily suspended its shows in Las Vegas, one of its prominent areas.

In the statement, Cirque du Soleil added it is entering a "stalking horse" agreement with its existing shareholders TPG, Fosun and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec as part of its applications. It also has about 10 shows on tour across the world, including "O", "Michael Jackson One", and "The Beatles LOVE".

Cirque is drowning in almost $1 billion in debt, according to multiple reports.

Cirque du Soleil shows in Austin, Chicago, Houston, New Orleans, Salt Lake City, Montreal, Boston, Tel Aviv, Meloneras in Spain, Munich, Costa Mesa, California, Denver and the Australian cities of Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth were also cancelled.

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