Cirque du Soleil Bought by Private Equity Firms

Cirque du Soleil has long been a spectacle to behold. It’s reputation, however, as one of the most extravagant and mysterious circus performances has been declining in recent years. With the advancement of technology and changes in tastes in entertainment, the circus has become dull and flat in the United States.

On Monday, a combination of private equity investors led by TPG agreed to buy Cirque du Soleil for 1.5 billion Canadian dollars. With one of the buyers being Chinese private equity firm Fosun Internation Ltd, Cirque du Soleil is set to break into China’s entertainment industry. With the subtle and continuous growth of China’s middle class, investors and companies around the world are trying to capitalize on the increase in leisurely spending. The plan for the introduction of the Canadian circus is just one of the many ventures in the expansion of entertainment in China.

The Walt Disney Company is building a theme park resort in Shanghai for $5.5 billion while companies like Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) and Sony Pictures have made deals with many Chinese players. The previous venture into the west was unsuccessful for Cirque du Soleil, as the acrobatics and splendor failed to resonate with the people of Macau. Though it is a staple in Las Vegas, many believe that the circus is ready to make another trek into China. Cirque du Soleil President Daniel Lamarre stated, “Fosun’s expertise in China and the Caisse’s homegrown financial strength are a powerful combination that will fuel new growth in our business.”

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