Cirque du Soleil Acquires the Blue Man Group for ‘Tens of Millions’
Independent off-Broadway theater sustained a major hit last week. The Blue Man Group – founded on the Lower East Side nearly 30 years ago – was gobbled up by Cirque du Soleil.
The two entities agreed on a deal reportedly worth “tens of millions,” with the “mutual aim of expanding Blue Man’s reach beyond its five permanent United States shows (in New York, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas and Orlando, Fla.), a world tour and one permanent international show (Berlin).”
According to the report in the New York Times…
The purchase provided an opportunity for Cirque to diversify its portfolio after years of financial tumult. In 2015, the company sold a majority stake to TPG, a private equity firm in Texas.
“The acquisition of Blue Man, for us, is kind of a breakthrough to make clear to people that Cirque is going from a circus company to becoming a global leader of entertainment,” [Cirque CEO] Mr. Lamarre said.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed, although Mr. Lamarre said the sale price was in the “tens of millions.”
Chris Wink, who founded Blue Man Group in 1991 along with Phil Stanton and Matt Goldman, said that the idea to sell came about a few years ago, as the company was looking to gain a foothold in other parts of the world. China specifically came to mind.
It’s unclear at the moment whether the two shows will combine creative elements onstage.
The Blue Man Group got its start in Astor Place at 434 Lafayette Street. Over the years, it appeared in commercials for Intel, as a plot line in Arrested Development, and founded a private school on the Lower East Side called the Blue School.