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Cirque du Soleil filed for bankruptcy and cut 3,500 jobs

In an announcement on Monday, the Montreal-based company blamed its bankruptcy for “the immense interruption and forced closure of shows following the Covid-19 pandemic” and aims to restructure its debt with government assistance. Canadian and private equity firms.

The filing comes three months after temporarily stopping production of its shows, including six in Las Vegas. It also has around 10 shows on tour around the world, including “O”, “Michael Jackson One” and “The Beatles LOVE”.

Cirque has joined a stalking horse offer from its biggest supporters, including a mix of multinational private equity firms from the United States, China and Canada for $ 420 million. That offer is meant to be a starting point in an auction to attract other bidders.

The company also received $ 300 million in new funding to “support a successful reboot, provide relief to employees and partners affected by the Cirque du Soleil, and take on some of the company̵

7;s outstanding liabilities,” the statement said.

Cirque is drowning in nearly $ 1 billion in debt, according to several reports. It is becoming increasingly unsustainable as its productions remain suspended. To help curb the financial loss, Cirque laid off some 3,500 employees.

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

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the amount of the stalking horse offer.

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