Moody’s Reveals Details of $1.5 Billion Cirque du Soleil Deal

Guy Laliberte
Photographer: Steve Granitz/WireImage via Getty Images

TPG Capital and its partners are putting $630 million into their purchase of Cirque du Soleil after agreeing to buy the acrobatic troupe from founder Guy Laliberte for $1.5 billion in April, according to a report released Wednesday by Moody’s Investors Service.

In addition to that equity, TPG, Fosun Capital Group and Caisse de depot et placement due Quebec, a Montreal-based pension fund, are borrowing $885 million in loans and other commitments, according the report. Cirque received a B2 credit rating, five levels below investment grade, from Moody’s.

Cirque, known for its ethereal acrobatic performances, produces nine resident shows in Las Vegas and Orlando, Florida and nine traveling productions. It had $845 million in revenue last year, according to the report, with an earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization margin in the mid-teens, Moody’s said.

Laliberte, 55, was a street performer who founded Cirque with a grant from the Canadian government in 1984. He’ll retain a 10 percent stake in the business.

Cirque’s near-term revenue and profit are expected to remain flat, as its core business is mature and some new shows have misfired, according to Moody’s. The new investors plan to seek more partnerships with third parties, introduce more affordable performances and further the company’s geographic expansion.

Lisa Baker, a spokeswoman for TPG at Owen Blicksilver PR, Inc., declined to comment.

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