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Cirque du Soleil Files for Bankruptcy Protection Amid COVID-19-Induced Shutdown

© REUTERS / Ints KalninsArtists perform during Cirque du Soleil's Crystal show in Riga, Latvia January 15, 2020.
Artists perform during Cirque du Soleil's Crystal show in Riga, Latvia January 15, 2020. - Sputnik International
TORONTO (Sputnik) - Canada’s entertainment staple, Cirque du Soleil, filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, prompted by the financial pressures of the novel coronavirus-induced shutdown, the company said in a statement.

"Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group ("Cirque du Soleil," "Cirque," or the "Company") announced today that it and certain of its affiliated companies have filed for protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act ("CCAA") in order to restructure its capital structure," the statement said on Monday.

Should the Superior Court of Quebec grant the initial order, the company will seek creditor protection in the United States under Chapter 15 of the US Bankruptcy Code.

Cirque du Soleil explained that as part of financial restructuring efforts it will cut ties with 3,480 employees laid off in March.

Existing shareholders - TPG, Fosun Group and Caisse de Depot et placement du Quebec - have entered a bid to acquire the company's assets and inject $300 million to maintain liquidity. As part of the proposal, Quebec’s economic development agency, Investissement Quebec, will contribute another $200 million in liquidity.

The Canadian circus, known for its acrobatic performances, began suspending operations on 13 March and has been shut down since.

Cirque du Soleil was founded by two former street performers, Guy Laliberte and Gilles Ste-Croix in 1984 in Quebec. The circus expanded rapidly, becoming the largest theatrical producer in the world. It has received multiple prizes, including a Rose d’Or, three Gemini Awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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