Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dubai-Owned Cirque du Soleil?

Cirque du Soleil is denying reports that an oil-rich Dubai investment fund has approached the Canadian company with a takeover bid. British media reports say an investment arm of the Kingdom of Dubai has offered the equivalent of close to $2-billion for the wildly successful Montreal-based circus company.

"Cirque du Soleil is not for sale," Cirque spokesperson Renée-Claude Ménard said, calling the reports "rumour and speculation."

When asked whether Cirque du Soleil has received any interest specifically from Dubai, Ms. Ménard wrote: "We do not comment on which organizations or individuals we have conversations with."

Last year, Cirque du Soleil announced a partnership with Dubai-based Nakheel, which describes itself as the world's largest privately held real estate developer. The 15-year deal will see a new, resident (as opposed to touring) Cirque show offered at a purpose-built location in Dubai, beginning in 2010.

This year, Cirque will offer 18 different shows around the world, including 9 resident shows (6 in Vegas). Close to 80 million people have seen a Cirque show since '84, according to the company.

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