Who will buy Cirque du Soleil?

Who will buy Cirque du Soleil?

Main pic: Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Dralion’, Vienna, 2009. Photo credit; Jean Gagnon

Quebec City (Quebec) 27 March 2015 – Since June of last year, Guy Laliberté, founder and 90% shareholder of Cirque du Soleil has been in negotiations to sell his share of the company and hold onto only 10%.

For the Liberal Government and the opposition parties in the National Assembly there is a concern that if the company is bought by foreign interests that the head office, which is in Montreal, could move out of the province and set-up shop elsewhere. The company employs about 1400 people in Montreal and the government doesn’t want to lose the benefits of having the Cirque’s main operational centre in the province.

Not much is coming out of the Cirque’s offices concerning the sale because negotiations are on-going with several options on the table. In order for Quebec to hold onto the major share of the company it has been suggested that the Caisse de Dépôt, (Quebec’s provincial pension fund manager) could bid on the company to ensure its presence remains in Quebec. The Caisse has already made such moves with Rona and other companies in the past. It is a form of protectionism and has been used in the past for not just Rona but also for Videotron.

The provincial Liberals just released their budget this week claiming to create and or save a certain number of jobs in the province making the incentive to retain the Cirque in Quebec an even more important issue. The bidding to purchase the company is coming to an end next week and the government wants all the chances on its side.

The Cirque on the other hand is not as profitable as it used to be, having laid off 600 employees in 2013, and closing four of its permanent installations around the world.

Guy Laliberté started the company back in 1984 with a Federal grant of $1 million awarded to him to organize a show for the 450th anniversary of the discovery of Canada. The company has not received any public money since 1992.

Any takers? Going once…

Categories: Business, News

About Author

Quebec News in English

News from across Quebec. For more Quebec news, business, politics, sport, entertainment, opinion pieces, events and other information please visit our social media accounts: Facebook: facebook.com/lifeinquebec Twitter: twitter.com/lifeinquebec

Write a Comment

Only registered users can comment.