Cirque du Soleil creditors win control, TPG and Fosun wiped out
08/20/2020|7:28:36 AM|Bloomberg

Lenders to Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group won control of the company in a court-supervised restructuring, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The bid by the creditors’ group, which represents holders of about $760 million in Cirque debt and includes Toronto-based Catalyst Capital Group Inc., must still receive the approval of a Canadian court. Lenders are planning to inject $375 million of new capital into the Montreal-based company to restart its shows.

Under the proposal, first-lien creditors, owed more than $900 million as of March 31, wind up with virtually all of the equity.

”We haven’t received a higher offer than that of our lenders,” Cirque spokeswoman Caroline Couillard said in an e-mailed message.

Cirque shareholders including TPG, China’s Fosun International Ltd. and Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec will see their investment wiped out under the creditors’ plan. TPG bought a majority stake in 2015.

In addition to the creditor and shareholder proposals, Cirque received four other non-binding preliminary offers to buy the company, according to a report from its court-appointed monitor Ernst & Young. But none of those resulted in a formal offer that could better the creditors’ bid.

Caisse de Depot, Quebec’s largest pension fund, spent $75 million in February to double its stake in the entertainment company to 20% -- an investment it was forced to write off in June when the company filed for bankruptcy protection.

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