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Caisse de dépôt purchases founder Guy Laliberté’s stake in Cirque du Soleil

Guy Laliberté had a 10 per cent stake in the company.
Guy Laliberté had a 10 per cent stake in the company. Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) has bought an additional 10 per cent of Cirque du Soleil after purchasing company founder Guy Laliberté’s holdings.

The pension fund manager for the province announced the move on Monday, which brings its stake in the Quebec company up to 20 per cent.

President Charles Emond said the Caisse will continue to back Cirque du Soleil in its “development projects that have showcased Quebecers’ creativity and expertise for several decades.”

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They said Laliberté will remain involved in the “creative process of the business.” The Caisse also said he will retain “economic interests” but did not provide more details.

“I am happy that my share of Cirque du Soleil, which I founded 35 years ago, is going to Québec interests,” said Laliberté in a statement.

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The Caisse, which became a shareholder in Cirque du Soleil in 2015, did not provide the financial details of the transaction.

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It became a shareholder in a change that allowed TPG Capital, an American investment company, to become the biggest shareholder — TPG owns 60 per cent of Cirque du Soleil.

The Chinese firm Fosun Capital Group has a 20 per cent stake. Laliberté had retained a 10 per cent stake.

Cirque du Soleil employs about 4,900 workers, including more than 1,500 at its head office in Montreal. The company puts on nearly 50 permanent shows and tours around the world every year.

Jumping through hoops at Cirque du Soleil’s Luzia
Jumping through hoops at Cirque du Soleil’s Luzia

— With files from the Canadian Press