Cirque du Soleil Files for Bankruptcy Protection

We first broached the possibility of a bankruptcy for Cirque du Soleil back in April 2020, and we’re sad to report the company has done just that. Sometimes, we hate being right.

While news coverage of Cirque’s bankruptcy has focused on “immense disruption” caused by the COVID-19 crisis, Cirque du Soleil was in deep financial trouble prior to the closure of its shows, 44 in all, including six Las Vegas productions.

What kind of trouble? Roughly $1 billion in debt, largely due to leveraged loans.

Cirque du Soleil

Let’s hope the sun isn’t setting for Cirque.

Read our story to learn more about some of the WTF moves leading to Cirque du Soleil’s staggering debt.

Cirque furloughed about 3,500 employees in March 2020. Now, those employees are terminated.

The company has signed an agreement with its existing investors to take over Cirque’s liabilities and invest $300 million to keep the company afloat. A Canadian government body called Investissement Quebec will contribute $200 million in debt financing.

Yeah, it’s confusing. We just want our bendy people and creepy clowns back!

It’s expected that once Cirque’s capital is restructured, most of its Las Vegas shows will return: “O,” “Zumanity,” “Love,” “Ka,” “Mystere,” and “One.”

Insiders believe one or more Las Vegas shows won’t be back. Likely candidates are “Zumanity,” “Love” and “Ka.”

Among Cirque’s challenges, there’s no clear timeline for reopening their shows.

Here’s hoping Cirque du Soleil can get its act together. Cirque shows are as much a part of Las Vegas as roulette wheels, strip clubs and people mistakenly using an apostrophe in “Caesar’s Palace.”

16 thoughts on “Cirque du Soleil Files for Bankruptcy Protection

  1. Mike Alexakis

    I have seen well over a dozen different Cirque shows over the last 30 plus years, they used to have just one travelling show, and they played in the parking lot for the Santa Monica Pier… Hard to believe they could lose money putting on these popular shows… Someone is going to invest in this company, they are too big to fail…

  2. Company Man

    When you take on a billion in debt, you better be printing money, otherwise you’re screwed at the first sign of a revenue drop. Just ask the folks at Chuck E. Cheese.

  3. Dean

    If they close any show, why wouldn’t it be One? I can’t believe they have high demand to see a show featuring the music of a child molester?

  4. Sam M

    Unfortunately this is just the beginning. Since many people can’t act responsibly and wear a mask, many Vegas businesses will suffer the same fate. Wishing things away doesn’t seem to work. It was fun while it lasted.

  5. Scott H

    I saw Zumanity, and honestly, I had difficulty explaining what it was and why I had seen it.

    It was about sex? Or sexuality? What was the end game?

    1. alex

      Yes, it’s about sex and sexuality. The end game is acknowledging that sex is part of being human. And provided that you do it in a responsible manner in the right venue, talking about sex and sexuality shouldn’t be something that has to be hidden.

      Sounds like you should have asked a few questions or read the official website prior to purchasing your ticket. It’s not a show that everyone will appreciate.

    2. Mike Alexakis

      The two young ladies swimming around in the huge Champagne glass and the trapeze/hula-hoop lady in the schoolgirl outfit were all the theme related information I needed, Zumanity was and is a fabulous time for adults interested in getting entertained in Las Vegas…

  6. Andrew

    Not bothered at all by this. I’ve alway felt like I was being robbed by being charged 150/180$ to see this stuff. Not a single time I’ve left the show with a sense of awe or whatever else. Cirque shows to me are the worst way to spend money. Besides, with too many of them,they all became a brand rather than an actual show. So lame. So long,I will not miss them.

  7. JP

    It’s amazing how a company can go a BILLION dollars in debt and can still get banks to throw money at them but families need to jump through hoops to get a loan to buy a house and at a ridiculous high rate at that. Broken system.

      1. JP

        Yeah the prime rate is low, that doesn’t mean that everyone qualifies for the prime rate but thanks for oversimplifying. My point is I have great credit, can get a good rate (not that everyone out there can) but lets see how the bank laughs at me if I walk in and even ask for a million dollar loan without any collateral to back that up. Yet there are companies like this one a billion dollars in debt and have no issue getting banks to keep throwing money. Not to mention the unchecked handouts to corporations with the covid relief plan and the make the rich richer tax scam from a couple years ago. Like I said broken system.

        1. seaside

          True, JP. Most of the acrobats will never recover, while the chief executives who screwed it into the ground will never miss a single bite of their favorite Beluga Caviar from a mother of pearl spoon.

        2. Mike Alexakis

          A whole bunch of people like you completely overlook the fact that Cirque was purchased by private equity interests in 2015, leveraging is what private equity does. Toys R Us is a similar story. They loaded up the debt because that is what they wanted to do. Remember Mitt Romney had to explain this in 2012, they call private equity “vultures” for reasons…

  8. Boulder Steve

    Vegas was fine before Cirque. It will be fine without the shows. Something else will fill the void.


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