The judge, Louis-Joseph Gouin of the Quebec superior Court approved on Friday the offer to purchase Cirque du Soleil filed by the secured lenders of the company.
The magistrate has dismissed out of hand the protests of Gerry Apostolatos, a lawyer representing the lenders of the second row of the Circus. I Apostolatos asked the court to extend by two weeks the process for the sale of the company in order to give more time for stakeholders to study the offer of the secured lenders.
In the framework of its bid, the secured lenders promise to inject up to US $ 375 million for the revival of the Circus, and this, without the need of the help of the government. The lenders agree to maintain the company’s headquarters in Montreal for at least five years.
The Caisse out of the game
The approval of this offer by the court confirms the shelving of the proposal presented last month by the existing shareholders of the Circus: the american fund TPG, the chinese company Fosun and the Caisse de dépôt.
In their offer, TPG, Fosun, and the Fund undertook to invest US $ 300 million in the relaunch of the Circus, but two-thirds of this amount came from a loan of Quebec.
With the offer of the lenders, the debt of the Circus would melt from US $ 1.1 billion to US $ 300 million. This however excludes other claims, including tens of millions of dollars owed to suppliers.
The offering of the secured lenders now plays the role of proposal primer in the framework of the auction process, which will be held in the coming weeks.
Investors interested in the Circus have until August 18 to file a competing offer.
Quebecor said on Thursday that it was withdrawing from the process while reaching out to the group of secured lenders. We do not know the intentions of the Red Moon, the personal holding of Guy Laliberté.