Montreal (AFP)

Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté is no longer a shareholder in the company after selling his last 10% stake in the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, the Caisse announced on Monday.

"I am happy to sell my stake in Cirque, which I founded 35 years ago, to Quebec interests," said the ex-acrobat, 60, quoted in the Caisse press release.

"I will continue to get involved in the creative process of the shows and, above all, I will continue to support and contribute to the influence of the entertainment industry in Quebec through my other projects," says Guy Laliberté, who also created the One Drop foundation and the Lune Rouge company.

Guy Laliberté "remains however involved in the creative process of the company and retains economic interests there", specified for its part the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ), in a press release.

With this investment, the CDPQ, the armed wing of the French-speaking province for investments, has doubled its participation, now holding "almost 20% of the business".

The CDPQ entered the capital of the company in 2015, when Guy Laliberté sold his company, founded in Quebec in 1984, to Chinese and American investors.

The company, whose huge Chinese market is one of the priorities, has since been owned 60% by the American fund TPG and 20% by the Chinese group Fosun, which notably owns Club Med.

At the end of this transaction, the billionaire Guy Laliberté had reduced his participation in the troop from 90% to 10%.

The Cirque du Soleil Group employs more than 4,900 people, including more than 1,500 at the head office in Montreal, and presents nearly fifty permanent shows and tours around the world.

© 2020 AFP