Cirque du Soleil files for creditor protection amid COVID-19 woes

Cirque du Soleil has filed for creditor protection as the company grapples with financial hardships during the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic and looks to restart its business.

The move, which was announced on Monday in a statement, means the famous Quebec-based circus and some of its affiliated companies have filed for protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act in Quebec Superior Court. The case is expected to be heard on Tuesday.

“If the court grants the initial order sought, the company will seek its immediate provisional recognition in the United States under Chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court,” the statement reads.

READ MORE: Cirque du Soleil artists hold protest over work contracts they say went unpaid

In the statement, Cirque du Soleil added it is entering a “stalking horse” agreement with its existing shareholders TPG, Fosun and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec as part of its applications. Investissement Québec will act as a debt provider.

The circus has been struggling since the COVID-19 health crisis first bore down on Quebec in March. The health crisis led the company to postpone or cancel many of its international shows.

Earlier this month, freelancers and artists held a protest outside the circus’ marquee in Montreal’s Old Port over work contracts they claim went unpaid. They allege they are owed nearly $1.5 million for work.

—With files from the Canadian Press

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