TPG’s Cirque du Soleil acquires The Works

Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, a portfolio company of TPG Capital LP, Fosun Capital Group and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), has acquired The Works Entertainment, Inc., a company known for The Illusionists franchise and other variety shows. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Established by Simon Painter and Tim Lawson, Los Angeles based The Works Entertainment is a world-class leader in theatrical productions and large-scale attractions.

Cirque du Soleil funded the acquisition with a portion of a new US $120 million unsecured credit facility made available by the Fonds de solidarité FTQ and CDPQ.

The acquisition will allow Cirque du Soleil to continue its diversification of content offering and consolidate its presence in soft-seat theatres.

The Works Entertainment is the third add-on acquisition by Cirque du Soleil following its acquisition by TPG Capital in 2015. It has previously acquired Blue Man Group in 2017 and VStar Entertainment Group in 2018.

In July 2015, TPG Partners VII acquired a majority stake in Cirque du Soleil with Fosun Capital Group and CDPQ acquiring minority stakes in the company. Founder Guy Laliberté retained a minority stake.

photo credit: The Works

News Release

Entertainment Group acquires the makers of ‘The Illusionists’ franchise

Latest Transaction Crystallizes the Group’s evolution into a Global Live Entertainment Leader

MONTREAL, Feb. 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ – Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group announces today the acquisition of The Works Entertainment, the world-class creative and production company known for The Illusionists franchise and other variety shows. The addition of their well-known brands to Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group’s portfolio allows the global leader in live entertainment to continue its diversification of content offering and consolidate its presence in soft-seat theatres.

This transaction represents the third acquisition for Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group in recent years, after acquiring Blue Man Group in 2017 and VStar Entertainment Group in 2018. This acquisition confirms the company’s leading position in the industry and testifies of its expansion from a company solely centred on circus arts to a live entertainment creator, producer and promoter.

“This transaction is a perfect example of how our group is diversifying through acquisitions, while always investing in our core activities,” said Daniel Lamarre, president and CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group. “The Works productions have natural affinities with our own, in that they are high-quality universal live experiences that appeal to different audiences from different cultures around the world without having to adapt the show to each market. Magic, a genre of live entertainment that The Works has successfully mastered through their hugely successful Illusionists franchise, has been performed for centuries and continues to enjoy a steadfast popularity among audiences worldwide. I’m honoured to have their creative minds and theatrical expertise join our ranks.”

Established by Creative Producer Simon Painter and Executive Producer Tim Lawson, The Works Entertainment creates, produces and presents first-class entertainment since 2012. The Works Entertainment has a proven track record in mid-size theatrical productions with live magic shows like The Illusionists, and content developed from the big screen like Now You See Me Live. The Works’ portfolio also includes circus arts shows like Circus 1903 – The Golden Age of Circus, cabaret-style shows and musical theatre productions.

“As we were reflecting on our company’s future, we were looking for the next big step to fulfill our wildest dreams,” said Simon Painter, creative producer and co-founder of The Works Entertainment. “Joining the team of the company that completely revolutionized circus arts and is now leading the live entertainment industry is a true honor for us. Cirque du Soleil’s global touring expertise as well as large-scale production insights will undeniably fuel our desired future growth in addition to giving us access to new creative resources that we could ever wish for.”

Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group purchased The Works Entertainment from owners Simon Painter, Tim Lawson and Kilburn Live. This acquisition was financed using a portion of a new US$120 million unsecured credit facility made available by the Fonds de Solidarité FTQ and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

All media materials, including photos and videos of both companies, are accessible at the following link: https://app.box.com/s/pagddsdromy9eb2hs092528vqx606nki

About Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group
Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group is a world leader in live entertainment. On top of producing world-renowned circus arts shows, the Canadian organization brings its creative approach to a large variety of entertainment forms such as multimedia productions, immersive experiences, theme parks and special events. It currently has 4,500 employees from nearly 70 countries. Going beyond its various creations, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group aims to make a positive impact on people, communities and the planet with its most important tools: creativity and art. For more information about Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, please visit cdsentertainmentgroup.com.

About The Works Entertainment
Established by Simon Painter and Tim Lawson, The Works Entertainment is a world-class leader in theatrical productions and large-scale attractions. TWE’s productions have consistently smashed box office records, been seen worldwide and have included performances in prestigious venues such as the Sydney Opera House in Australia, the Shaftesbury Theatre in London and the Palace Theatre on Broadway, New York. With a global network of affiliates and an office in the heart of Los Angeles, The Works Entertainment is perfectly situated to offer exceptional quality, ground breaking creativity and first-class execution.

SOURCE Cirque du Soleil Canada inc.

Ted Liu

Ted Liu, M.Sc. (Mining, Queen's), MBA (Finance, Toronto), is the Editor of Private Capital Journal, CanadaMetals.ca, TechWire.ca, and the former Editor of Canadian Private Equity. Ted has been passionately tracking Canadian private capital industry since 1992, having most recently served as Research Director for The Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA).

Ted is the architect of CVCA infobase, and is the architect of CPE Media's Financings.ca, Canada's most sophisticated and advanced all private capital and public market financing database.