Coronavirus: Cirque du Soleil to explore debt restructuring, potential bankruptcy filing, sources say

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Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group is exploring debt restructuring options that include a potential bankruptcy filing, after it was forced to cancel shows because of the coronavirus outbreak, people familiar with the matter said.

The famed Montreal-based circus company, largely known for its regular shows in Las Vegas venues, had to temporarily lay off most of its staff after social distancing measures put in place to prevent the spread of the virus nixed its performances.

Cirque du Soleil is working with restructuring advisers to address a cash crunch and its roughly $900 million in debt, the sources said on Thursday.

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Creditors are also in talks with advisers as they prepare for possible negotiations with the company, the sources said.

READ MORE: ‘The show cannot go on’: Canada’s arts scene takes hit from COVID-19

Cirque du Soleil has not yet decided how to address its strained finances, the sources cautioned, requesting anonymity to discuss confidential deliberations. The company declined to comment.

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Entertainment companies that put on shows in confined spaces, such as movie theaters and theme parks, are reeling in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which has sickened nearly 500,000 people and caused more than 22,000 deaths around the world.

Attempting to slow infections, governments have banned large gatherings, ordered people to remain at home and shut businesses deemed nonessential, including casinos.

5:45Coronavirus outbreak: Federal ministers outline process for new mandatory quarantine practices

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