Bankrupt Big Apple Circus Will Stay Alive Under New Ownership

Image courtesy of saeru

The show must go on, and for the Big Apple Circus, that hackneyed old saying is actually true: A judge has approved a deal that will save the circus by selling its tents, equipment, and intellectual property to an investment firm.

Big Apple filed for Chapter 11 in November with debts totaling $8.3 million. It will now continue to operate under the approved bankruptcy plan, reports the Associated Press.

Big Top Works, an affiliate of investment company Compass Partners LLC, had the winning bid of $1.3 million, beating out a handful of other bidders.

“We couldn’t let this beloved American pastime just disappear,” said Neil Kahanovitz, a partner at Big Top Works and former circus performer, calling the 40-year-old circus a “cultural gem.”

Big Apple said in a statement last week when it accepted Compass’ bid, that the choice was based on the company “offering the highest bid and making a compelling case to revive the circus performances consistent with the original Big Apple Circus mission and values: serving family audiences in NYC and on tour, sensitive to accessibility and to differently abled audiences.”

For circus lovers, this may be a bright spot in an otherwise dreary parade of sad clowns: Earlier this year, Ringling Bros. announced that it would be closing down its circus for good come May.

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