Caisse part of consortium bidding to acquire Cirque du Soleil assets

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Performers skipping Rope at Cirque du Soleil's show 'Quidam'A consortium of investors, including the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, private-equity firm TPG Capital and investment company Fosun International Ltd., is partnering with Investissement Québec to submit a proposal to acquire substantially all of the assets of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, which has filed for bankruptcy protection.

The deal is pending approval from the commercial division of the Superior Court of Québec, with the consortium looking to serve as the primary bidder in Cirque du Soleil’s court-supervised restructuring and related sale and investment solicitation process. As it stands, the proposed purchase agreement would give Cirque du Soleil a cash injection US$300 million. To support the proposed acquisition, Investissement Québec would provide US$200 million in debt financing.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented meaningful, unforeseen challenges for Cirque’s business and the live entertainment industry globally,” said the consortium, in a press release. “Together with management, we have worked diligently to preserve the long-term value of the business and believe our commitment today creates a strong foundation from which the company can start to rebuild and reposition the brand for the future.”

TPG, Fosun, and the Caisse have been part of Cirque du Soleil’s ownership group since 2015.

In other news, the Caisse is investing in a private placement of subordinated debentures from the Canadian Western Bank. The deal with the Edmonton-based bank is for a $125 million aggregate principal amount of 4.84 per cent series G subordinated debentures, coming due June 29, 2030.

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