Live performance company Cirque du Soleil has bought Blue Man Productions, a New York-based live entertainment company best known for its Blue Man Group show, performed in more than 20 countries since 1991. No financial terms were disclosed. Montréal-based Cirque said the deal adds to its audience pool and is in line with a global expansion plan intended to help diversify its offering beyond circus arts. Cirque was acquired two years ago by a consortium led by U.S. private equity firm TPG Capital. The deal, reportedly valued at US$1.5 billion, included investments by Fosun International and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
Cirque du Soleil acquires entertainment phenomenon Blue Man Group
Montreal, Quebec, July 6th, 2017. Global entertainment leader Cirque du Soleil today announced the acquisition of New-York-based Blue Man Productions, a global live entertainment company best known for the award-winning Blue Man Group show, performed in over 20 countries and seen by more than 35 million people worldwide since 1991. The acquisition of Blue Man Group considerably widens Cirque du Soleil’s audience pool, adding to their portfolio six resident productions established across the United States and Germany, as well as a North American and a World Tour.
The transaction is in line with Cirque du Soleil’s vision for the future, as the Montreal-based creative powerhouse looks to further expand globally and diversify its entertainment offering beyond circus arts. With its original aesthetics, award-winning musical talent and immersive experience know-how, the acquisition of Blue Man Group also represents an additional asset for Cirque du Soleil’s creative team and show offerings.
“We want to broaden our horizons, develop new forms of entertainment, reach out to new audiences and expand our own creative capabilities. Today, we are taking a decisive step towards materializing these ambitions”, said Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil. “We are extremely excited to welcome the iconic Blue Man Group to our portfolio of shows. Their unbridled creativity makes them a perfect cultural fit for Cirque du Soleil. Our extensive marketing research also confirms that Blue Man Group is a strong ‘love brand’ with a solid fan base – something else our two brands have in common.”
For 25 years, Blue Man Group has earned an unrivaled reputation in the global entertainment industry. With a history and values similar to that of Cirque, the company was born of a crazy dream in the creative minds of its three founders. Blending technology, music and comedy, they created boldly colored, playful and steadfastly interactive shows. The company currently operates resident shows in New York, Boston, Las Vegas, Chicago, Orlando and Berlin, as well as two touring productions.
Blue Man Group Co-Founder Phil Stanton explains, “When we began our Blue Man journey, we set our sights on creating theater that would bring people together in a celebration of human connection. We have been humbled, amazed and inspired by the audience responses we have received over the years.”
Co-Founder Chris Wink adds, “Now, we find ourselves on the brink of our next chapter, and we have big ideas for the future. Only a global creative powerhouse like Cirque du Soleil could help us achieve our vision. Their commitment to artistic quality and originality is unparalleled and their creative resources are vast. It is an honor to join forces with their organization.”
About Blue Man Group
Blue Man Group was created in 1991 by three long-time friends from New York City: Chris Wink, Phil Stanton and Matt Goldman, who were determined they would achieve lives of meaning and purpose by following their own path. They created a ground-breaking performance centered on a bald and blue character they called Blue Man.
Blue Man Productions is now a global entertainment company best known for the award-winning Blue Man Group show, performed in over 20 countries and seen by more than 35 million people worldwide since 1991. A dynamic combination of art, music, comedy and technology, the show’s euphoric celebration of human connection has universal appeal for a broad range of age groups and cultural backgrounds. Blue Man Group was owned by Co-Founders Chris Wink and Phil Stanton, and the GF Capital Private Equity Fund. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to Blue Man Group.
About Cirque du Soleil
From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil has evolved from a world leading organization that reinvented circus arts to become a global live entertainment provider. From its international headquarters in Montreal, Canada, Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to more than 180 million spectators in over 450 cities in 60 countries on six continents. In 2017 alone, 18 shows are being simultaneously presented around the world. Cirque du Soleil also brings the same energy and spirit that characterize each of its shows to other spheres of activity, while maintaining stringent standards of artistic quality and originality. The company now has close to 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from close to 50 different countries. For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com.
For more information:
Photo courtesy of Reuters/Rafael Marchante