Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group has acquired VStar Entertainment Group, a Fridley, Minnesota-based live entertainment provider, and VStar’s Florida circus arts affiliate Cirque Dreams. No financial terms were disclosed.
Cirque, a Montréal-based live performance company, said the buy will expand its audiences with plug-and-play creative content designed for children and families.
The deal follows last year’s acquisition of Blue Man Productions, reportedly for US$65.5 million.
Cirque was bought in 2015 by a group led by TPG Capital and joined by Fosun Capital Group and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group expands family offering with acquisition of Vstar Entertainment Group
MONTREAL, THURSDAY, JULY 5, 2018
Global live entertainment leader Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group today announced the acquisition of Minnesota-based VStar Entertainment Group and its Florida-based circus arts subsidiary Cirque Dreams. The addition of VStar Entertainment Group to its portfolio allows the Montreal creative powerhouse to expand its audiences with plug-and-play creative content specifically designed for children and families. With its integrated live entertainment platform and broad global distribution network in small theaters, the acquisition of VStar and Cirque Dreams will contribute to further establishing Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group as the world leader in live entertainment for audiences of all ages.
“Building on the successful integration of Blue Man Group over the last year, today we are taking another decisive step towards realizing our ambition. While circus arts will always be at the core of our creative offering, we continue to look for ways to expand and diversify our portfolio with new forms of entertainment and new brands, reaching new audiences and expanding our own creative and production capabilities”, said Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group. “VStar Entertainment Group has a proven track record and recognized expertise in small theatrical production, which complements Cirque du Soleil’s expertise in large-scale production and global touring. We firmly believe the knowledge transfer will help us develop our own capabilities in this type of entertainment and therefore, contribute to growing our footprint in the live entertainment production industry.”
VStar Entertainment Group is a live entertainment provider producing theatrical shows, exhibits, cruise ship shows and outdoor events. VStar is best known for its children and family shows showcasing popular brands from Nickelodeon and Spin Master, such as PAW Patrol. Over nearly four decades, it has built an impressive footprint in the global entertainment industry, presenting over 39,000 performances in more than 40 countries, reaching over two million guests annually. On its own, PAW Patrol Live “Race to the Rescue” toured in 250 cities in 18 countries on 4 different continents in 2017.
“VStar has a history of growing through partnerships with great entertainment brands and we are always on the lookout for the next transformative opportunity. We now find ourselves on the brink of our next chapter and only a global producer like Cirque du Soleil could help us achieve our vision. Their expertise in the live entertainment industry is unparalleled and it is an honour to join forces with their organization”, said Eric Grilly, CEO of VStar Entertainment Group.
Cirque Dreams, founded by Broadway Director Neil Goldberg and established in Florida, is the entertainment group’s circus arts division which successfully produces and operates tours and shows in theatres and various popular touristic venues through partnerships with Norwegian Cruise Line and Gaylord Hotels, among other business to business opportunities. “I have always admired the creative forces behind Cirque du Soleil and could not wish for a better partner to continue developing Cirque Dreams. I look forward to contributing my creative mindset to the company’s evolution”, added Cirque Dreams President Neil Goldberg.
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About Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group
Originally composed of 20 street performers in 1984, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group completely reinvented circus arts and went on to become a world leader in live entertainment. Established in Montreal, the Canadian organization has brought wonder and delight to over 190 million spectators with productions presented in close to 450 cities in 60 countries. Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group currently has over 4,000 employees, including 1,400 artists, from nearly 50 countries.
Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group creates content for a broad range of audacious projects. On top of producing world-renowned shows, the organization has extended its creative approach to a large variety of entertainment forms such as multimedia productions, immersive experiences, theme parks and special events. Going beyond its various creations, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group aims to make a positive impact on people, communities and the planet with its most important tools: creativity and art. For more information about Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, please go to cdsentertainmentgroup.com.
About VStar Entertainment Group
VStar Entertainment Group is a leading entertainment company and producer of unforgettable live experiences for audiences in the U.S. and internationally. From concept through activation, VStar imagines and creates custom tours featuring original content, and licensed, branded tours that provide highly engaging entertainment for fans of all ages. With nearly four decades of expertise in all aspects of event production and management, VStar delivers turnkey, in-house solutions for theatrical shows, interactive exhibits and brand activations. VStar also creates custom-fabricated mascots and costumes, large-scale sets, scenery and 3-D installations, serving as a valued resource for professional sports teams, Fortune 500 companies and experiential marketing agencies.
Headquartered in Minneapolis, VStar has presented more than 39,000 live performances across 40 countries, and entertains nearly two million guests annually. Current VStar tours include PAW Patrol Live! Bubble Guppies Live, Cirque Dreams and Discover the Dinosaurs: Time Trek. Previous VStar (formerly VEE Corporation) productions include Sesame Street Live, Barney, Bear in the Big Blue House, Curious George, Dragon Tales, and Kidz Bop Live! For more information, visit www.vstarentertainment.com.
About Cirque Dreams
Since 1993, Cirque Dreams has integrated a robust knowledge platform combining theatre, circus arts and imagination into quality family entertainment and shows for Broadway, Norwegian Cruise Line, Gaylord Hotels, Armed Forces Entertainment, theatre tours, theme parks, casinos and venues worldwide. Popular titles include Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, Cirque Dreams Holidaze and Cirque Dreams Unwrapped. For more information, visit www.cirqueproductions.com.
For more information:
Cirque du Soleil
514-723-7646 X 8019
Cohn & Wolfe