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Dubai linked with $2bn bid for Cirque du Soleil

June 16, 2008 7:50 by

cirque du soleil, circus, Istithmar World, dubai world, nakheel, palm jumeirah, brandDubai is thought to have made a $2bn bid for Cirque du Soleil, the world-famous acrobatics circus. The Daily Telegraph says the Montreal-based company has received a number of takeover approaches, and that Dubai, likely to be through Dubai World’s Istithmar World arm, is a front runner.

The Cirque brand has previous in Dubai. Last year, its first event, staged at Ibn Battuta and sponsored by Nakheel, was seen by 100,000 people, and added extra dates. Nakheel was so impressed it signed a 15-year deal to create a permanent Cirque theatre on the The Palm Jumeirah. Now, like Victor Kiam, it appears Nakheel wants to buy the company.

Formed in 1984 by two former street performers, the Cirque brand was rated as the world’s 22nd most valuable by Interbrand. It has expanded from 73 employees in 1984 to 3,500 employees today from over 40 countries doing 15 shows. Estimated annual revenue top $600m.

Istithmar World would be buying with time to grow the brand further. Several more shows are in development around the world, along with a television deal, women’s clothing line and perhaps in other mediums such as spas, restaurants and nightclubs.

Istithmar World also owns the QE2.

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