Cirque du Soleil sells majority stake to U.S., Chinese investment firms

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 21, 2015
Adjust font size:

Canada's Cirque de Soleil, the global circus empire, announced Monday that it has sold its majority stake to U.S. and Chinese investment firms for an undisclosed amount that experts estimated valued in excess of 1.3 billion Canadian dollars.

Under terms of the agreed deal, Guy Laliberte, founder of the circus empire, has agreed to sell control of Cirque du Soleil to TPG Capital, a Texas-based private equity fund, and China's Fosun Capital Group, a privately owned fund manager based in Shanghai, ending his 30-year run as the controlling shareholder and chief of the world's most whimsical and popular circus production company.

"After 30 years building the Cirque du Soleil brand, we have now found the right partners in TPG, Fosun and the Caisse to take Cirque du Soleil forward to the next stage in its evolution as a company founded on the conviction that the arts and business, together, can contribute to making a better world," Laliberte said in a statement.

Laliberte "will maintain a stake in the business and will continue to offer strategic and creative input to the company," it said, adding that Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, one of Canada's leading institutional fund managers, will also get a minority stake.

The new partners "will work with the company to launch and expand in China," the statement said.

Since beginning in 1984, Cirque has played to some 160 million spectators in more than 330 cities in some 48 countries across the world. Now it has 4,000 employees worldwide, including more than 1, 300 artists.

Last year, Laliberte said his Cirque had expanded too quickly with new productions, some of which were box-office disappointments and he no longer wanted to oversee a company whose future growth depends on an ambitious strategy of global expansion and new multimedia ventures that may include film and television deals.

Although the auction initially attracted a number of interested buyers, in the end, TPG and Fosun were the only serious bidders. Both TPG and China's Fosun reportedly have a variety of interests in multimedia and entertainment companies that are expected to open new theatrical and business opportunities for the Cirque.

Canadian media said TPG, a major shareholder in U.S. casino and resort operator Caesars Entertainment Corp. acquired 60 percent of the Montreal-based firm valued at 1.5 billion Canadian dollars. TPG is also an investor in Univision Communications Inc., a New York-based television and cable company that serves the Hispanic community.

Fosun Capital Group has investments in a number of tourism assets and has plans to open a Cirque office in China to expand its business in Southeast Asia.

The two buyers have agreed to terms that will ensure Montreal, home to about 1,400 employees, remains Cirque's international creative and management headquarters, according to the statement.

No financial terms were disclosed for the transaction, which was expected to close in the third quarter of 2015, the statement said. Endite

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from