A controlling stake in Cirque du Soleil, which grew from a ragtag group of street performers in Canada into a global circus and entertainment colossus, will be sold to a U.S. private equity fund and its Chinese partner, Cirque du Soleil said on Monday.
The deal to sell the stake, the size of which was not disclosed, to a group led by Texas-based TPG Capital LP values Montreal-based Cirque at about $1.5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter..
The group includes Fosun Capital Group, owned by Chinese conglomerate Fosun International Ltd. Canada's second-largest pension fund, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, will take a minority stake.
The new partners will work with the company to launch and expand in China, the circus troupe's statement said.
Founder Guy Laliberte, who had owned 90% of Cirque, known for its acrobatic spectacles, will maintain "a stake in the business," the statement said. Quebec businessman Mitch Garber will be appointed chairman.
No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which is slated to close in the third quarter, the statement said.