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Quebecor's interest in Cirque du Soleil seems logical, analyst says


MONTREAL — Quebecor's interest in Cirque du Soleil seems logical to at least one financial analyst if the media company opts to trim the size of Cirque's entertainment business in order to revive its financial health.

In a note sent to clients, Adam Shine of National Bank Financial evaluated a proposal whereby the Cirque would focus on six existing shows in Las Vegas and four others in China, Mexico, Germany and Orlando, Fla.

This plan would mean the end of 13 touring shows and 21 other productions under affiliated brands like the Blue Man Group.

Shine estimates that this plan could allow the entertainment company to generate revenues at about US$675 million as well as a profit before interest, taxes and depreciation of more than $100 million.

Quebecor said last week it is prepared to inject "hundreds of millions" in order to consolidate shareholder control in Quebec, but hasn't seen the books of Cirque founder Guy Laliberte.

With a debt of more than US$900 million, the Cirque laid off 4,679 employees, or 95 per cent of its workforce, on March 19, in addition to cancelling its 44 shows around the world, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 11, 2020.

Company in this dispatch: (TSX:QBR.B)

The Canadian Press

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