What do a Greek jeweler, a French resort chain and now a circus troupe that blends theater with acrobatics have in common? The answer — they are all companies China’s Fosun International Ltd has bought a stake in with the aim of bringing them back to the country’s aspirational and spendthrift affluent.
On Monday, Canadian circus firm Cirque du Soleil said it has sold a majority stake in itself to a consortium led by private equity firm TPG and that included Fosun. Cirque du Soleil’s founder Guy Laliberte will maintain a stake in the firm, but the exact breakdown of how much each buyer, including two Quebec-based investors, will take, wasn’t laid out. In a statement, Cirque du Soleil President Daniel Lamarre said “Fosun’s expertise in China and the Caisse’s homegrown financial strength are a powerful combination that will fuel new growth in our business.”
In its filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange Tuesday confirming the addition of the circus troupe to its growing repertoire of what it called the “happy lifestyle area”, Fosun said its purchase is the latest example of it “combining China’s growth momentum with global resources.” Fosun said that the consortium has committed to keeping Montreal the troupe’s “decision-making and creative base” and would also keep Cirque du Soleil’s headquarters in the city.
With Fosun on board, Cirque du Soleil is likely hoping it will be more successful at wooing the Chinese consumer than the last time it set up base in the country, though that stretch was in Macau.
Read more at The Wall Street Journal.