The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec has bought out a few weeks before the crisis of the sars coronavirus the participation of Guy Laliberté the Cirque du Soleil in trading with a firm in the Cayman islands, a tax haven.
The participation of Guy Laliberté the Cirque du Soleil was held from 2015 to 2020 in a registered company in the Cayman islands, a tiny tax haven in the Caribbean of 64 000 inhabitants.
In February 2020, when the Fund has redeemed the 10% interest of Guy Laliberté, in the Circus, it is this company of the Cayman islands, which gave way at the bottom of wool Quebecers participation in a quebec-based company by the name of Cirque du Soleil Holding LP.
This is what we said yesterday Anne Dongois, the chief communications officer of red Moon, the personal holding of Guy Laliberté.
Flexibility and simplicity
The company in question by Guy Laliberté, called Groupe Cirque du Soleil inc., was previously registered in Quebec, but it began to be governed by the laws of the Cayman islands from July 2015.
His transfer coincides with the sale by Guy Laliberté, a large part of the Cirque du Soleil to the american fund TPG, the chinese group Fosun and the Caisse de dépôt.
In response to a first question this week, Anne Dongois we had originally indicated that Group Cirque du Soleil inc. “had at any time been a private corporation resident in Canada” and that it was ” subject to canadian tax on all of its income “.
However, when we submitted the documents stating that the company appeared to be registered in the Cayman islands, she admitted that the company had become in 2015 ” governed by the corporate laws of the Cayman islands, for questions of flexibility and simplicity in the context of its operations “.
“However, as previously indicated, it has always been and continues to be subject to the tax legislation, canadian resident company of Canada “, has she assured.
“As much during the initial investment than on the redemption, all the securities acquired by the Caisse in québec-based companies “, writes to us from his side of the Caisse, speaking to Guy Laliberté for specific questions regarding Groupe Cirque du Soleil inc.
Note that while Guy Laliberté ensure that all taxes due to date have been paid, it has already been rapped on the knuckles by the tax office to have attempted to recover from the Circus his “mission magic” of 2009 in the space.
Then he had tried not to pay tax on the $ 41.8 million that had cost his journey, believing that it was a business spending. In 2018, a judge had forced them to pay almost $ 20 million to the tax authorities.
The least we can say is that the founder of the Circus has been successful in selling its latest stock of Circus (for an undisclosed amount) to the Fund on the 14 February. A month later, the Circus was said to consider bankruptcy.
The Journal had estimated in February the value of the transaction to at least $ 100 million, based on the value of the shares sold in 2015 by Guy Laliberté.
So far, both the Caisse de dépôt Guy Laliberté ensure that the sequence of events is a pure coincidence.
“The sale of the shares of Cirque, Guy Laliberté to the [Fund] is in no way linked to the crisis of the sars coronavirus, the discussions having been initiated well before the pandemic,” wrote Anne Dongois, of Red Moon.
“All of our investments are made on the basis of a robust and rigorous risk assessment – this is part of the job of the investor” told us about Yann Langlais-Plante, a spokesperson for the Fund.
SOME KEY DATES
► April 20, 2015
The Circus announces agreement with TPG and its two partners, Fosun and The Caisse
► June 1, 2015
Write-off of Groupe Cirque du Soleil inc. (address – 8400 du Cirque, Montreal)
► July 2, 2015
Groupe Cirque du Soleil inc. is re-registered in the Cayman islands
► February 17, 2020
The Fund announced the redemption of the 10 % that Laliberté held still in the Circus