Cirque du Soleil Is Buying The Blue Man Group, Plus Some Of The Most Ridiculous Homes You’ll Ever See

morning brew

Here’s your hand-crafted Brew for July 7th


“Here’s a little economics lesson: supply and demand […] You put the supply out there, and demand will follow.” — Energy Secretary Rick Perry on the coal industry. We are 100% sure that we have zero idea what he is talking about.

Market Snapshot

  • The S&P and Nasdaq declined, led by sell-offs in energy and tech.
  • The Dow settled lower, driven by GE (-3.80%) and Intel (-2.07%).
  • The dollar index slipped on weaker-than-expected jobs growth.
  • Oil rose on a larger-than-expected decline in crude inventory.

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Are You Not Entertained?

Cirque du Soleil is buying Blue Man Productions for “tens of millions of dollars” as the world’s largest theatrical producer finally decided to make some noise.

Let’s back up for a second.

From the worn-down streets of Quebec to present-day Vegas, Cirque has wooed us with its impressively acrobatic, exceedingly disturbing performance troupe since ‘84.

More recently, a mix of failed performances, rising production costs and lack of brand diversification have stagnated growth.

Get this—85% of Cirque du Soleil’s $1 billion in revenue is driven by Cirque-branded shows.

TPG and its $75 billion checkbook swoop in to save the day!

In 2015, the private equity shop secured a 60% stake in Cirque du Soleil (at a $1.5 billion valuation), while its Chinese counterpart, Fosun, scooped up 20%.

The plan was simple. Diversify Cirque’s offerings and create “the global leader of live entertainment” through key acquisitions and world domination.

And those creepy blue men can surely help Cirque out with that.

But, what’s in it for Blue Man Group?

They may be great at shoving marshmallows down their esophagi and playing in paint for three hours, but when it comes to expanding the biz…not their forte.

After 30 years, Blue Man Group has only expanded to six permanent cities (five in the U.S. and one in Berlin).

No wonder they were speechless when Cirque du Soleil made them an offer.

The brand power and financial backing of Cirque du Soleil gives it a chance to expand its blue footprint.

And now, the duo gets to welcome their largest audience yet.


Leveraging their collective silence, the two will easily enter a rapidly-growing entertainment market, often shielded by a language barrier.

No talking. No problem.

Buy Buy Buy

Hey! Brew Crew here to tell you about another fantastic story!

Liberty Interactive, the parent company of QVC, is acquiring the remaining portion of its daytime TV rival, Home Shopping Network for $2.1 billion. But wait, there’s more!

This once-in-a-lifetime all-stock deal gives QVC access to 95 million additional U.S. households, adds $3.6 billion to its $8.7 billion top line and offers $75 million in annual savings.

And if you call now, it’ll double the offer!

Along with Liberty’s flash-sale website Zulily (which QVC bought for $2.4 billion in 2015), the new QVC Group will become the third largest e-commerce company in North America.

Game on, Amazon (-0.64%).

We Fly High, All Lie

For a little, peninsular nub floating in the Persian Gulf, Qatar has been creating quite the splash.

And so has its state-owned, super-luxury airliner, Qatar Airways (sound familiar?).

The company just pulled the plug on an order of A350s, leaving Airbus with four, obnoxiously-large jets chilling in its hangars and $1.2 billion-and-change missing from its bank account.

Qatar Air says it opted for the Irish Exit because of Airbus delivery delays, but skeptics say the company is in crisis mode as it enters month two of an airspace ban in the Middle East.

Regardless, poor, little Airbus is going to be just fine as its execs prance back to France with a $23 billion check from China in hand.

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What Else Is Happening…

  • Volkswagen (+1.81%) is recalling 766,000 cars across the world for a software update to its brake control system.
  • SoundCloud is closing offices in San Francisco and London and slashing 40% of its team.
  • Qatar Airways (remember them?) is moving forward with its plan to buy a 4.75% stake in American Airlines.
  • Tesla lost its top spot as most valuable automaker by market value.

Economic Calendar

Water Cooler

When you picture your dream home what do you see? Do you see a hot tub? What about a view of the ocean?


How about 24 bathrooms, six kitchens and an underwater disco?

Brew Crew decided to dig up some of the homes not even your wildest imagination could conjure up. Enjoy the tour…

    1. Versaille House (Value—$65 million):
      • Owner: David Siegel; Founder of Westgate Resorts
      • Location: Windermere, Florida
      • Highlights: 14 bedrooms, 11 kitchens, 32 bedrooms, 30-car garage, two-lane bowling alley, roller rink, three indoor pools, two outdoor pools, ballroom, two-floor movie theatre, spa, two tennis courts and a baseball field.

      Well played, Mr. Siegel. Well played.

    2. Xanadu 2.0 (Value—$125.5 million):
      • Owner: Bill Gates; Founder of Microsoft
      • Location: Medina, Washington
      • Highlights: 24 bathrooms, six kitchens, pool with underwater music system, trampoline room, rooms that automatically set to a person’s temperature preferences, home theatre, 2,100-square-foot library, a beach…

Oh Bill, Bill, Bill…got any extra room for Thanksgiving? We’ll bring the stuffing.

    1. Bel Air Spec Manor (Value—$250 million):
      • Owner: Markus Persson; Founder of Minecraft
      • Location: Bel Air, Los Angeles
      • Highlights: 12 bedrooms, 21 baths, full staff, three gourmet kitchens, five bars, massage/spa, James Bond-themed theatre and an 85-foot infinity pool (with a swim up bar).

The best news? Spec Manor is up for sale—think you have enough?

    1. Villa Leopolda (Value—$750 million):
      • Owner: Lily Safra; Brazilian philanthropist
      • Location: Cote d’Azur, France
      • Highlights: Commercial-sized greenhouse, helipad and a mansion-sized guest house.

Ms. Safra knows how to live in style—see for yourself?

    1. Antilia (Value—$1 billion):
      • Owner: Mukesh Ambani
      • Location: Mumbai, India
      • Highlights: Spa, garden, 50-seat theatre, three rooftop helipads, nine high-speed elevators, 600 staff members, dance studio and six stories just for parking.

If you ever go to India…you know where to stay.

The Breakroom

Interview Question of the Day

I am four times as old as my daughter. In 20 years time, I will be twice as old as her.

How old are we now?

(Give Up?)

Who Are We?

  1. We started our television career making construction paper animation.
  2. We were asked to write the prequel to Dumb and Dumber.
  3. We went to the Oscars tripping on acid and wearing dresses.
  4. We made our own Broadway musical.

(Any guesses?)

Stat of the Day

$3 million

The revenue generated during Nevada’s first four days of selling legal recreational marijuana. The state is on pace to bring in $30 million during the first six months.