03/26/2015 12:09 EDT | Updated 05/26/2015 05:59 EDT

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard To Cirque Du Soleil: Please Stay In Montreal

Johannes Simon via Getty Images
MUNICH, GERMANY - MARCH 31: Acrobats of the Canadian circus company Cirque du Soleil perform at Olympia Stadion during a rehearsal of the new show 'Varekai' on March 31, 2010 in Munich, Germany. 'Varekai' tells a modern version of the ancient Greek myth of Icarus. Falling from the sky a young man lands in a magical forest populated by fantastical and extraordinary people. The word Varekai means 'Wherever' in the Romany language of the gypsies the universal wanderers. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

QUEBEC - Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard has appealed to the founder of the Cirque du soleil to keep its head office in Montreal.

Couillard told reporters in Quebec City that Guy Laliberte is one of Quebec's great entrepreneurs and the Cirque is a huge source of pride for the province.

The Globe and Mail reported that bidders have been given until next week to submit offers to purchase Laliberte's controlling stake in the Cirque.

The newspaper cited sources as saying Laliberte has agreed to sell all but 10 per cent of his share.

Couillard says it's not only important that the international headquarters and its almost 1,500 workers stay in Montreal, but that Cirque activities should also remain in the city.

In the national assembly today, Jacques Daoust, the minister of economy and innovation, said a Quebec group has been involved in the process, but he would not go into detail, saying it was confidential.

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