Cirque du Soleil Files for bankruptcy protection

Artist's rendering of Cirque du Soleil theater at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World. (Cirque du Soleil/Disney)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Cirque du Soleil, the Montreal-based acrobatics show company that developed a new show at Walt Disney World, has filed for bankruptcy protection.

The company said that an “immense disruption and forced show closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic” has forced it to regroup and restructure its debt totaling nearly $ 1 billion, according to CNNstating “multiple reports.”

In March, Cirque du Soleil suspended production of many live shows worldwide and laid off more than 4,000 employees, or about 95 percent of the workforce. One of the suspended shows was ‘Drawn to Life,’ which was scheduled to take place a few weeks later in April at the Cirque du Soleil Theater in Disney Springs, Florida.

“With zero revenue since the forced closure of all our shows due to Covid-19, management had to act decisively to protect the future of the company,” said Daniel Lamarre, CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, in a press release.

The company hopes to restructure its debt with the help of the Canadian government and private equity firms.