The Caisse lost$ 228 Million in the Cirque du Soleil venture

La Caisse de dépôt a perdu 228 M$ dans l’aventure du Cirque du Soleil

The Caisse lost$ 228 Million in the adventure of the Cirque du Soleil, was revealed Friday the grand patron of the institution, Charles Emond.

“It seemed obvious that this amount then had to be cancelled, then this is what has been done to 100%”, indicated yesterday to Mr. Emond.

The figure of$ 228 Million, which had never been revealed, allows to deduce that the institution has provided more than$ 100 Million to Guy Laliberté in order to acquire its remaining stake of 10% in the Circus. The transaction took place in February, just before the pandemic.

The Fund has invested$ 79 Million in 2015 to acquire a first tranche of 10% of the Circus, and then has loaned$ 40 Million to the company last year.

The institution has lost its bet in the Circus when he is protected from its creditors at the end of June. Last month, the Circus has rejected a takeover offer submitted by the Fund and its two other shareholders, TPG and Fosun, he preferred the proposal from some lenders.

Criticism veiled

Mr. Émond was made, yesterday, two criticisms thinly veiled in respect of the offers of the creditors, which are conducted by the toronto firm Catalyst.

It was first considered important that an “operator strategic”, that is to say, a company in the entertainment sector, to be included in the upcoming group of shareholders of the Circus, which is not the case in the current proposal of Catalyst. Remember that Quebecor has set aside, for the moment, its efforts to invest in the Circus.

The CEO of the Fund has also argued that the “Circus 2.0” had to have a debt level is “reasonable”. However, by virtue of the supply of Catalyst, the debt of the Circus would be much more important than in the context of the Fund and other shareholders.

“This is a company who is perhaps not the best candidate for what is called a high level of leverage,” said Charles Émond.

Note, however, that the Fund was itself bonded to a heavy debt burden of the Circus during the acquisition of the latter with Mr. Laliberté in 2015.

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