03/26/2015 10:49 EDT | Updated 05/26/2015 05:59 EDT

Cirque du Soleil needs to stay in Montreal, Philippe Couillard says

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard on Thursday morning made a special appeal to the CEO of Cirque du Soleil.

"I want to issue a particular appeal to Guy Laliberté, who is the main shareholder in this transaction," Couillard said.

"I want to tell him that for Quebecers, for the government and for all political parties represented here, it is very important not only that the headquarters remains in Montreal but that the creative activities should also remain in Montreal."

On Wednesday, The Globe and Mail reported that the Montreal-based circus could be sold in the near future. 

Renée-Claude Ménard, senior director of public relations for the circus, told CBC News the company is searching for a "strategic partner."

"This is a very long process and [founder and majority shareholder] Guy Laliberté will take the time necessary to evaluate all available options," Ménard said on Wednesday. 

According to a report in The Globe and Mail, bidders have been given until next week to submit offers for a controlling stake in Cirque du Soleil Group.

The circus was founded by Laliberté, Gilles Ste-Croix and Daniel Gauthier in 1984.