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US and Chinese investors buy Cirque du Soleil

[MONTREAL] American private equity firm TPG and China's Fosun have bought a majority stake in Canadian entertainment juggernaut Cirque du Soleil for an undisclosed sum, the company announced Monday.

The circus troupe's founder Guy Laliberte retains a small share of the Montreal-based company he started in 1984 and will continue providing "strategic and creative input" as it seeks to expand in China.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

However, Canadian media said TPG, which has also invested in rideshare firm Uber and Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, acquired a 60 per cent share in the firm valued at US$1.5 billion.

Fosun, which last month won a bidding war for French holiday company Club Med, gets 20 per cent. And the Quebec government through its investment arm Caisse de depot et placement picked up a 10 per cent stake.

"After 30 years building the Cirque du Soleil brand, we have now found the right partners in TPG, Fosun and the Caisse to take Cirque du Soleil forward to the next stage in its evolution as a company founded on the conviction that the arts and business, together, can contribute to making a better world," Mr Laliberte said in a statement.