Cirque du Soleil files for bankruptcy

Iconic global circus show Cirque du Soleil has sacked most of its employees and filed for bankruptcy following the disruption of the Covid-19 shutdown.

The Montreal-based company said the “immense disruption and forced show closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic” had pushed them into bankruptcy.

The Covid-19 shutdown forced the company to suspend production of its shows, including six in Las Vegas and 10 shows on tour across the world, for the last three months.

Cirque has laid off roughly 3500 employees and is aiming to restructure its nearly US$1 billion worth of debt with assistance from the Canadian government and private equity firms.

The company has also received US$300 million in fresh funding to “support a successful restart, provide relief for Cirque du Soleil’s affected employees and partners, and assume certain of the company’s outstanding liabilities”.

“For the past 36 years, Cirque du Soleil has been a highly successful and profitable organization,” said Daniel Lamarre, CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group.

“However, with zero revenues since the forced closure of all of our shows due to COVID-19, management had to act decisively to protect the company’s future.”