Select Just for Laughs Assets Acquired by ComediHa!

The festival filed for creditor protection to avoid insolvency in March

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Jun 4, 2024

Quebec-based entertainment firm ComediHa! claims to have reached an agreement to acquire "select" assets from Montreal comedy giant Just for Laughs amid the festival's financial woes, CBC reports.

UPDATE (6/4, 11:28 a.m. ET): As the Canadian Press reports, ComediHa! says a judge has approved its bid to acquire Juste pour rire, Just for Laughs, ZooFest, ComedyPro, and the Gags, as well as the audiovisual catalogue. While the amount of the transaction was not disclosed, the company apparently has plans to expand its presence in festivals, live production, television production, tour promotion, distribution, and content monetization.

As per the news release made yesterday (May 29), the agreement between ComediHa! and JFL's parent company, Groupe Juste pour rire inc., is still subject to approval of the Quebec Superior Court — and the hearing is set for Monday (June 3).

Back in March, Just for Laughs cancelled its 2024 festival (both the original Montreal event and the Toronto iteration), filing for creditor protection to avoid insolvency. Shortly thereafter, ComediHa! announced that its own Montreal festival would take place in July.

Founded by Sylvain Parent-Bedard in 1997 — 14 years after JFL's 1983 launch — ComediHa! has offices in Montreal, Quebec City, Paris and Los Angeles. It was among the companies that publicly declared to be studying the purchase of the world's largest international comedy festival when, in 2017, Just for Laughs founder Gilbert Rozon announced he would sell all his shares amid sexual assault and harassment allegations.

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