Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, Montreal, is bending over backward for its hometown acrobatic performance troupe Cirque du Soleil, with a C$25 million (US$26 million) investment.
The private equity investment is part of a C$104 million partnership with Cirque du Soleil and Constellation Growth Capital, which is owned by J.P. Morgan Chase, to produce two shows — IRIS, an “imaginary journey through the evolution of cinema” at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles and Zarkana, an “acrobatic rock opera” now at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
IRIS is expected to remain in Los Angeles, but Zarkana is scheduled to travel to Madrid and Moscow, Stephane Leveille, director of investments, private equity, at the C$151.7 billion system, said in a telephone interview.
It is not the first investment the Caisse has made in Cirque du Soleil, said Caisse spokeswoman Sarah-Emilie Bouchard. It invested about C$50 million in 2001.
“We really know this partner; we know the business model well; we know the management; and we know the track record,” Mr. Leveille said. “This is a business that is close to us and is in our backyard.”
The investment makes up a small fraction of the retirement system's private equity portfolio, which accounts for 14.4% of the system's total assets.