Guy Laliberte wants to buy back Cirque du soleil, keep headquarters in Montreal

Guy Laliberte wants to buy back Cirque du soleil, keep headquarters in Montreal

MONTREAL — Cirque du soleil founder Guy Laliberte says he wants to buy back the internationally celebrated circus company he created more than 35 years ago.

Laliberte, who sold his remaining shares in the famed circus last February, told a popular television show Sunday night he wants to put an ownership team together and buy the company back.

“Today, I took the decision to embark on the purchasing process,” he said on Radio-Canada’s Tout le monde en parle. The circus, however, owes more than $1.25 billion to creditors and has been shut down since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Laliberte said the circus company he created in 1984 ”gave me so much and if I can help, we’ll be there.”

He sold the 10 per cent he had remaining in the company to Quebec’s pension fund, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, last February. The amount wasn’t made public but the value of that block of shares has been estimated at more than $100 million.

Theatre directors Franco Dragone of Italy, and Robert Lepage of Quebec have both shown interest, Laliberte said, in relaunching the Cirque du soleil.

The Quebec government has signalled it was ready to help the circus financially. Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon confirmed last week the provincial government was in talks with potential investors.

Montreal-based media giant Quebecor has also voiced a desire to buy a stake in the company.

Laliberte said his intention was to keep the headquarters of the celebrated circus in Montreal and to hire mainly Quebecers to run the company.

The Cirque du soleil recently received an urgent injection of funds to help bridge the company through the crisis and pay back creditors. Its three principal shareholders — TPG Capital, Chinese company Fosun and the Caisse — gave it about $70 million.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 25, 2020.

Stephane Blais, The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake Food Bank fundraiser looking for participants

Brenda Lee Cherry is looking for participants to raise money for the local food bank

46 new COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday in Alberta

Province has completed more than 500,000 COVID-19 tests

BRC Finals in Sylvan Lake moved to next November

The Bull Riders Canada Finals has been postponed, and will return to Sylvan Lake in 2021

Charges laid following shooting in Lacombe County

A man turned himself in to Rimbey RCMP after an incident on July 5

47 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday in Alberta, still 620 active cases

3 active COVID-19 cases remain in Red Deer

UPDATE: Alberta RCMP Major Crimes Unit investigating suspicious death in Leduc

Death of Jacob Michael Chitze, 19, ruled a homicide; RCMP seek video of house party altercation.

Trump forgoes insults of past, calls Mexico cherished friend

New U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement celebrated

Three patients dead: Edmonton hospital declares full COVID-19 outbreak

Misericordia Community Hospital closes to new patients

Grizzly bears in the dark as they try to share living space with humans: study

Grizzly bears in the dark as they try to share living space with humans: study

‘You haunt my dreams:’ Sex assault victim confronts ex-nightclub worker in court

‘You haunt my dreams:’ Sex assault victim confronts ex-nightclub worker in court

Alberta bill proposes major changes to union strike rules and funding

Alberta bill proposes major changes to union strike rules and funding

Most Read