Cirque du Soleil files for bankruptcy

Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil has filed for bankruptcy.

Company officials are blaming the coronavirus pandemic.

Cirque du Soleil filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection, USA Today reported.

“For the past 36 years, Cirque du Soleil has been a highly successful and profitable organization,” Daniel Lamarre, company CEO, said in a press release, according to CNN. “However, with zero revenues since the forced closure of all our shows due to COVID-19, management had to act decisively to protect the company’s future.”

The legal move will allow the company, which has about 10 shows on tour across the country and six shows based in Las Vegas, to restructure its debt with help from the Canadian government and private equity firms.

Some shows use popular music as inspiration for shows like “Michael Jackson One” and “The Beatles Love.” A new show was in development for Walt Disney World called “Drawn to Life.”

Cirque du Soleil is about $1 billion in debt and has laid off about 3,500 employees, CNN reported.