Private equity goes to the circus

A GROUP led by the Texas-based private equity fund TPG Capital has bought a controlling stake in the Canadian circus and entertainment company Cirque du Soleil. The group of investors includes Fosun Capital Group, owned by Chinese conglomerate Fosun International. While no financial terms were disclosed for the deal, it is thought to value Cirque du Soleil at $1.5bn (£1bn). The new partners will work with the company to launch and expand it in China, according to a statement released by the circus troupe yesterday. Guy Laliberte, who founded the Quebec based company, which now employees over 4,000 people, had owned 90 per cent of it before this deal. He will maintain “a stake in the business,” the statement said. Quebec businessman Mitch Garber will be appointed chairman, and Canada’s second-largest pension fund, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, will take a minority stake. The statement said that the deal is scheduled to be finalised in the third quarter of this year.