CIRQUE DU SOLEIL FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION

And lays off 3,500 employees.

By Balthazar Malevolent

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION

Las Vegas' famous production company Cirque du Soleil, has now filed for bankruptcy protection, laying 3,500 of its former employees at the same time. The filing came "in reaction to tremendous uncertainty and forced show closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic." Production was forced to close all 44 of its shows earlier this year due to the ongoing pandemic, having to lay off at the same time a staggering 95 percent of employees, 1,300 of whom were part of the operations in Las Vegas, and furloughing about 4,700 other staff members.

Cirque du Soleil.

Cirque du Soleil has now received $300 million from its investors including $200 million from its government agency Investissement Quebec to keep operations floating during the restructuring process. $15 million will be spent on sidelined employees' benefits while a further $5 million will be spent on reimbursing contractors. Its debt load of $900 million from creditors has been reduced and also establishes a purchase agreement with current investors of the company.

"The sponsors' robust commitment — which includes additional funding to support our impacted employees, contractors and critical partners, all of whom are important to Cirque's return — reflects our mutual belief in our brand's power and long-term potential," Cirque du Soleil CEO Daniel Lamarre said. "I'm looking forward to restoring our operations and getting together again to create the exciting new spectacles for our millions of fans around the world."

Cirque du Soleil is an entertainment company based in Montreal, and the world's largest contemporary circus producer. Located in the Saint-Michel inner-city area, it was founded by former street performers Guy Laliberté and Gilles Ste-Croix in Baie-Saint-Paul on 16 June 1984.

The creations of the company have received numerous awards, including three Drama Desk Awards; seven Primetime Emmy Awards; multiple Gemini Awards; one Daytime Emmy Award; one Juno Award; and one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In her interview, Michele Lamy, the wife and business partner of the designer Rick Owens, once mentioned that she always wanted to become part of Cirque du Soleil when she was younger.

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