Onex closes $3.45bn private equity fund

Onex, one of Canada’s largest companies and a publicly traded private equity firm, announced that it has closed its second large-cap private equity fund at $3.45bn.

Toronto-based conglomerate Onex has closed its second large-cap private equity fund, Onex Partners II, at $3.45 billion (€2.7 billion). It has committed $1.45 billion, or 41 percent of the capital, to the fund; Onex Corp. controls the fund’s general partner and manager. The remaining $2 billion was committed by an undisclosed group of global institutional investors.

Onex’s last large-cap fund, Onex Partners I, was closed in 2003, and has since invested, or committed to invest, $1.5 billion in nine companies. Nearly all of the investors for the first fund have partnered with Onex for the second.

The first investment for the Onex Partners II, and the last investment for Onex Partners I, is expected to be the acquisition of Chicago-based Aon Warranty Group, an extended-warranty contract provider, for $710 million (€555 million) by the end of 2006.

In June, Onex also announced the closing of its second small and mid-cap private equity fund, Oncap II, at $575 million in committed capital. Onex Corp. also invests in real estate through Onex Real Estate Partners and public equities via Onex Capital Markets.

Onex, a publicly traded company, has annual consolidated revenues of about C$19 billion ($17 billion, €13.2 billion) and consolidated assets of about C$15 billion ($13.4 billion, €10.5 billion). Among its companies are former IBM subsidiary Celestica and Cineplex Entertainment, the largest movie theatre chain in Canada, as well as a number of US healthcare firms.

Onex’s founder and CEO, Gerald Schwartz, owns a controlling majority of the company; his wife, Heather Reisman, is the founder and CEO of Indigo Books, Canada’s largest bookstore chain.