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Cirque du Soleil announces 400 layoffs

17 January 2013

Cirque du Soleil, which operates seven shows in Las Vegas, announced it will lay off about 400 employees, or 9 percent of its staff, over the next three months, with the first round of job cuts happening before the end of the month.

Cirque spokeswoman Renee-Claude Menard said Wednesday that almost 50 percent of the cuts will take place at the company's Montreal headquarters. Menard did not discuss how the layoffs will affect its Las Vegas business.

Cirque is scheduled to open its eighth permanent residency show locally, when "Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour" debuts in mid-May at Mandalay Bay. Messages left with Cirque's Las Vegas-based spokesman Jeff Lovari were not returned.

At a news conference Wednesday, Menard said the company was in good financial condition, but the company's growth, the strength of the Canadian dollar and production costs are causing it to review expenses. The company made almost $1 billion in revenue and sold 14.2 million tickets last year.

Despite Cirque's profitability, five of the 19 shows produced by the company were canceled in the last year, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Dubai World, which invested in MGM Resorts International's CityCenter on the Strip, owns a 20 percent stake in Cirque du Soleil.