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New Cirque du Soleil Owners Eye Expansion

The global private investment firm TPG has acquired a majority stake in Cirque du Soleil in a move to grow the 30-year-old live entertainment brand.

April 6, 2018

2 Min Read

The global private investment firm TPG has acquired a majority stake in Cirque du Soleil in a move to grow the 30-year-old live entertainment brand and expand into new markets.

"We are excited about the opportunity to bring our global platform of resources and know-how to propel the growth of Cirque's unique brand, content and capabilities around the world," says David Trujillo, partner, TPG. "We are inspired by Guy Laliberté's imagination and vision, and look forward to working with him and his talented team, as well as the vibrant Montréal creative community."

The private Chinese investment group Fosun, Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec and Québec businessman Mitch Garber will all acquire minority stakes in the brand. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but The Wall Street Journal has valued the acquisition at around $1.5 billion.

"To date, Fosun has established a global prototype for platforms that capture lifestyle trends in China. Building on top of this model, we have an objective to become one of the global leaders in businesses driven by lifestyle needs, which are quickly taking root in China," says Guo Guangchang, chairman, Fosun. "The performances of Cirque are very attractive and are a standard bearer for the quality content expected by global citizens. We have known Cirque and TPG's team for quite some time so we respect their cultural heritage. We envisage deeper cooperation with Cirque and are excited to have Cirque as a major new growth platform within our lifestyle services and content portfolio."

Garber will become chairman of Cirque du Soleil, while Daniel Lamarre will remain on as the company's president and chief executive officer. Company founder Guy Laliberté will maintain a stake in the business and will continue to provide strategic and creative input. The headquarters and the creative activities of Cirque du Soleil will also remain in Montréal.

In recent years, Cirque du Soleil has expanded beyond its core circus shows with a range of film, TV and digital ventures developed in partnership with Canada's Bell Media, Saban Brands and 20th Century Fox Television.

"After 30 years building the Cirque du Soleil brand, we have now found the right partners in TPG, Fosun and the Caisse to take Cirque du Soleil forward to the next stage in its evolution as a company founded on the conviction that the arts and business, together, can contribute to making a better world," says Laliberté. "Just as importantly, I am thrilled that the investors have demonstrated such a strong commitment to Cirque's unique Québec cultural heritage and the creativity and imagination of our people."

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