The mysterious shareholder of the Circus

Le mystérieux actionnaire du Cirque

The controlling shareholder of Cirque du Soleil is a fund texan of 119 billion US$, chaired by a wealthy businessman known for his discretion, but also for its extravagant celebrations that do negation not Guy Laliberté.

While the Circus is on the brink of bankruptcy, the big boss, Daniel Lamarre, multiplies the interviews. The chairman of the board, Mitch Garber, will respond to messages. The founder, Guy Laliberté, has published an opinion letter.

Several workers and employees of the Circus have also contacted The Newspaper to report their situation.

In all this hubbub, we hear nothing, however, about not the controlling shareholder of the Circus, the fund TPG (for Texas Pacific Group). TPG has yet 55 % of the Circus. He has so much at stake in the adventure. Our requests to interview with TPG have remained up to now without result.

Buy in debt

The american fund is specialized in the leverage buy-out (purchase through leverage, in French). It is a method of investing that involves buying companies using largely other people’s money. The debt owed to lenders is attributed to the acquired business.

By streamlining its operations, TPG will then try to resell it at a profit the business being purchased.

This can yield mind-boggling in a short time. This can also weaken the business and can quickly lead to bankruptcy.

TPG has made his teeth by acquiring in 1993 the carrier Continental Airlines for$ 66 MILLION US. Five years later, Continental was sold to 640 MILLION US$. Airbnb and Uber are recent investments.

This is a billionaire texan, David Bonderman, chairman of the board of TPG.

The magazine Forbes was his fortune in 2019 to 3.7 billion US$. Trained as a lawyer, former teacher, lover of rock and roll, he started in finance working for a wealthy family of texas oil.

Very discreet, it does not give almost never interviews to the media. This does not prevent him to make him talk to his lavish parties.

In trouble ?

TPG has experienced years of glory, but he has also experienced failures. Recently, the american retailer J. Crew, which was acquired by TPG and another group in 2011 for US $ 3 billion, had to be placed under the protection of the courts. TPG has also broken the teeth with the purchase of the Washington Mutual bank and the giant energy of Texas TXU.

It is difficult to know the real state of the investments of TPG, because it is a private fund. The New York Post suggested a week ago that TPG had managed to make money with J. Crew, even if the retailer was in bankruptcy (because of management fee astronomical taken, among others). The Journal reported that TPG had the Circus of the Sun through a shell based in a tax haven opacity. The Circus denies, however, that this is for purposes of tax optimization.

Dubious investments

Despite several notable successes, TPG has not always been the happy hand. Apart from the recent failure of retailer J. Crew, questions have been raised around an investment of 450 million US $ of TPG in the media Vice, which gave a value to the company of $ 5.7 billion US$. The Hollywood Reporter wondered in 2019 if the billion $ invested by TPG in the media sector were cost-effective, including investments in agency Creative Artists Agency, in the Circus and in Spotify.

A partner of Mitch Garber

Mitch Garber is co with TPG in the Circus of the Sun. Previously, Garber has also led to Caesars Interactive, a subsidiary of the giant casinos Caesars Entertainment (owned in part by TPG), where he pocketed hundreds of millions of $. Caesars and its subsidiaries have been at the heart of a court battle epic between creditors, TPG and any other fund, because Caesars was no longer able to pay its debts. Mitch Garber is also associated with the president of TPG, David Bonderman, in a project team of the national hockey League (NHL) to Seattle. In an interview to the Seattle Times, Garber described Bonderman as ” a great friend and mentor “, with which he has been a partner since 2008.

Darling of the caisse de dépôt

It’s not in the Cirque du Soleil the Caisse and TPG are partners. The real estate arm of the Caisse, Ivanhoe Cambridge, has also been a partner of TPG in 2013, for the buyback to $ 400 million of a loan in default from the former owner of an office complex prestigious of London. The Fund also has already developed in the years 2010 projects of logistics in Europe with TPG. Offices in the Silicon Valley have also been purchased by the Fund with TPG.

Holiday memorable

For his sixty years, David Bonderman has invited three hundred of his relatives to Las Vegas for an unforgettable evening. This is the actor Robin Williams who ran, followed by a concert with rocker John Mellencamp and then his favorite band, the Rolling Stones. “The party would have cost ten million, of which $ 6.5 million is only for the training of Mick Jagger !” as The Echoes, in 2013. In 2012, the New York Times reported that Bonderman was offered, for its 70th anniversary, a party with 700 guests in Las Vegas. Paul McCartney would have given a performance of two hours.

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