Photo: Graham Hughes The canadian Press
With a debt estimated at more than US $ 900 million, the Cirque du Soleil is paralyzed by the pandemic COVID-19.
In exchange for a financial involvement of the State in the recovery of the Cirque du Soleil, the government, Legault would have to get the assurance that the rooting québec corporate entertainment will be maintained.
At the moment the discussions seem to take place smoothly behind the scenes, the minister of Economy and Innovation, Pierre Fitzgibbon, has drawn up its list of conditions, Wednesday, at Quebec, on his arrival at council of ministers.
In addition to seeing the registered office of the company, which is currently located in the montreal borough of Saint-Michel, stay in Quebec, he indicated that the members of the senior management of the business of entertainment as well as its chairman of the board of directors shall reside in the province. Mr. Fitzgibbon also hope that the “intellectual property” remains in Quebec.
“If there had been any conditions met, such as these, we might decide to help the Circus “, a-t-he launched during an exchange with representatives of the media.
Daniel Lamarre is the president and chief executive officer of Cirque since 2004, while the business man Mitch Garber had been appointed at the head of the board of directors in 2015. In addition to having seen the light of day in Quebec, the two men are resident in the province.
If there were “several discussions” at this time, Quebec has not yet given its green light to any form of assistance whatsoever, has warned Mr Fitzgibbon. He didn’t want to say if potential buyers had already committed to its list of conditions.
“It is difficult for me to answer because there are a lot of speculation, said the minister of the Economy. There are a lot of people who (are) interested, and many of these people have not contacted. Definitely, it was not spoken to all the people who are interested in the Circus. “
Last week, Bloomberg had argued that the Circus was talking with Investissement Québec (IQ) to ensure that the financial arm of the State will lend up to half a billion canadian dollars. In an email sent to The canadian Press, Mr. Garber had said that this was not the case and that the company had not knocked at the door of Quebec.
With a debt estimated at more than US $ 900 million, the Circus, is paralyzed by the pandemic COVID-19, which has forced the company to cancel, in march, 44 performances, in addition to laying off almost all of its workforce, or about 4700 people.
In addition to studying all of the scenarios, including the one where it would be shielded from its creditors, the company started its efforts to find an investor or a buyer, or renegotiating another injection of capital from its current owners — the investment fund texas TPG Capital, the chinese company Fosun and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
The president and ceo of Quebecor, Pierre Karl Péladeau, has already expressed his interest in the place of the Circus, while Guy Laliberté has suggested this week that he could be involved in the rescue of the company he founded in 1984, three months after having removed its last ball.
Both Quebec and Ottawa, the Circus has recently added a mandate to its registration as a lobbyist to solicit a financial boost in order to weather the storm triggered by the new coronavirus.