Last night on Radio-Canada’s Tout le monde en parle, Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté said that he wants to buy back the struggling circus company, have it run primarily by Quebecers and keep the headquarters in Montreal.
“Today, I took the decision to embark on the purchasing process,” said Laliberté, who relinquished control of company in 2015 and sold the rest of his shares in February. Cirque is currently co-owned by TPG Capital, Fosun (China) and the Quebec Caisse de Depot, and owes over $1.25-billion to creditors.
According to Laliberté, Quebec theatre director Robert Lepage and his Italian counterpart Franco Dragone, as well as Quebecor, have expressed interest in relaunching the company as part of an ownership team. Cirque du Soleil had been appealing to the Quebec government for financial assistance to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon confirmed last week the provincial government was in talks with potential investors, according to a CP report.
“Cirque has given me so much, and if I can help, we’re going to be there,” Laliberté said.
Cirque du Soleil website
For more coverage of the Montreal art and design scene, see our Arts section.
To read the latest issue of Cult MTL, click here.