From the Walt Disney World News and written by: Michele
This just in!
From reviewjournal.com – Las Vegas
Cirque du Soleil has filed for bankruptcy protection. Cirque announced Monday morning from its headquarters in Montreal it was seeking a debt restructuring protection under its home country’s Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA).
As expected, the company said in its filing announcement the refinancing move was “in response to immense disruption and forced show closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Cirque du Soleil shut down all 44 of its shows in March, laying off 95 percent of its workforce, including more than 1,300 in Las Vegas. The company further announced that nearly 3,500 employees in its international workforce would be terminated, though none in its Las Vegas productions.
The company had furloughed some 4,700 employees in March. The company states that the termination “allows employees to maximize and accelerate the financial compensation” the would receive through unemployment assistance programs.
In its restructuring, Cirque has been buoyed by a $300 million infusion from its investors (including $200 million from its own government agency, Investissement Quebec) to continue operations while productions are sidelined.
A total of $15 million is being applied to sidelined employees’ ongoing benefits coverage. Another $5 million is earmarked for payments to contractors, owed several millions since the company shut down in March.
It will take months, probably into the fall, for the company’s ownership to be established. Cirque CEO Daniel Lamarre said in Monday morning’s announcement that the company had enjoyed 36 years of success until the pandemic took hold, and needed to act “decisively” to bolster its future. The purchase agreement is to set a template for Cirque to eventually return as a stronger company.
“The robust commitment from the sponsors — which includes additional funds to support our impacted employees, contractors and critical partners, all of whom are important to Cirque’s return — reflects our mutual belief in the power and long-term potential of our brand,” he said. “I look forward to rebuilding our operations and coming together to once again create the magical spectacle that is Cirque du Soleil for our millions of fans worldwide.”
So what does that mean for the new show at Disney Springs! Drawn to Life was to have started soft openings in March with the full debut in April. I was lucky enough to get a preview and it’s a beautiful show. Right now we are hearing that Drawn to Life will probably debut this Fall, which is good news. This is a developing story so stay tuned for more updates as we see them.