Photo: Eduardo Verdugo Associated Press
The Circus, at this point shaken by the COVID-19, has had to suspend dozens of shows in the world and lay off 95% of its staff in march.
Cirque du Soleil has entered into an agreement with its creditors that will allow them to put their hands on the assets of the company as payment of the debt, has indicated his direction Thursday, saying that these creditors have the intention to maintain the headquarters in Montreal and to create a fund for dismissed workers and artisans unpaid.
This agreement between the creditors and the Circus, which operates under the protection of the courts since the end of June, spreads of the sudden a proposal put forward in June by the existing shareholders of the company in order to establish a kind of price floor in the framework of the sale process and the solicitation of investment from interested buyers.
The purchase agreement of the creditors will be presented to the superior Court Friday, said the Circus, at this point shaken by the COVID-19 that it has had to suspend dozens of shows in the world and lay off 95% of its staff in march, or about 4700 people, before you dismiss 3480. At the time, her debt was estimated at nearly a billion us dollars.
The current shareholders of the Circus are the american fund TPG (60 %), the chinese group Fosun (20 %) and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (20 %). The three planned to inject 300 million in the company, of which $ 200 million would come from a loan from Investissement Québec. In the press release presenting the offers of the creditors, the Circus did not mention this loan. However, creditors retain the idea of a fund of $ 15 million to the fired employees, a 5-million fund for craftsmen and the maintenance of the seat. In June, the Circus stated that the sum of $ 15 million was 3480 laid-off employees.
“When the Circus has had to discontinue its activities due to the pandemic, we have argued to stabilize the company, we have devised a plan for him to prepare an exit from the crisis respectful of its fundamental values and its history, said the consortium of three shareholders in a brief statement. We are pleased to see that the creditors have integrated these key commitments to their submission — including commitments to Québec and the funds for the employees and subcontractors affected. “
Seat retaining at least five years
According to the agreement obtained by The canadian Press, however, the maintenance of the head office in Quebec seems to be fixed in time. “The buyer will keep the international headquarters and the decision-making centre in Montreal, [ … ] for a minimum period of five years and thereafter based on the best interests of the company […] as determined by the board of directors” indicates the purchase agreement between the Circus and Spectacle Bidco, which includes the creditors.
According to the minister of Economy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, it is “not necessarily surprising” that creditors find themselves in a favorable position to acquire the assets of the Circus, on account of a debt of a billion dollars. Invited to comment on the situation, Mr Fitzgibbon said that his ” concern was that the Circus gets back on a solid foundation, and that it respects the fact that it is a company centered in Quebec, with a decision-making power “. “If they meet all the conditions I had established with TPG, and that it does not cost the government nothing, I am the minister of the Economy, the happier the world. “
Other interested parties have asked if the loan of 200 million would be available in the case of a new counter-offer. “I always said yes, provided that [the loan] are met. “These terms are quite expensive, because” there is no question that the government can lose money with it.”