The Cirque du Soleil's variety of shows has marvelled and fascinated audiences around the world (Associated Press/Cirque du Soleil/Benoit Fontaine)

Telecommunications titan seeks ‘rescue’ of struggling Cirque du Soleil

A powerful Quebec telecommunications company says it wants to “rescue” the struggling Cirque du Soleil franchise.

The offer of a financial lifeline comes from Quebecor Inc., which says it’s ready to spend “several hundred million dollars” to revive Cirque du Soleil operations.

In a letter sent to four federal ministers from Quebec, Quebecor says it is in funding talks with Quebec’s pension fund manager as well the Fonds de solidarité FTQ and the Royal Bank of Canada.

In March, Cirque du Soleil halted its 44 shows worldwide and laid off 95 per cent of its employees amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is said to be nearly a billion dollars in debt and is flirting with bankruptcy.

The circus that Guy Laliberté (pictured last summer on his private island of Nukutepipi in French Polynesia) founded has fallen on hard times financially. (Mike Leyral/AFP via Getty Images)

In February, the company’s founder and driving artistic force, Guy Laliberté, sold his last remaining shares of Cirque du Soleil, which he created in 1984, to the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ)

Laliberté walked away from day-to-day operations in 2015.

American investment fund TPG Capital claims a 60 per cent stake in Cirque while Chinese firm Fosun Capital Group and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) own 20 per cent each.

With files from The Canadian Press, RCI, CBC

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Economy, International
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