Investment firm Onex holds equity interests in companies across several industries in North America. It mainly focuses on manufacturing and health care, but has holdings in the financial services, building products, and transportation sectors. While large-cap private equity is its biggest segment, the company also invests in debt and credit securities and real estate, including real estate investment trusts, commercial real estate loans, and residential developments. Its ONCAP family of private equity funds invests in mid-cap firms. Altogether, Onex has some $10 billion in third-party capital under management and about $14 billion in all. Onex bought US insurance brokerage firm USI for $2.3 billion.
USI in 2014 agreed to acquire more than 40 insurance brokerage and consulting locations nationwide from financial services company Wells Fargo & Company.
The company's portfolio includes interests in Spirit AeroSystems, The Warranty Group, electronics manufacturer Celestica, and business process outsourcer Sitel, in addition to minority stakes in Allison Transmission and airplane manufacturer Hawker Beechcraft.
Onex's health care holdings include Res-Care, Skilled Healthcare Group, and the Center for Diagnostic Imaging. Onex sold its remaining stake in Emergency Medical Services to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice for $878 million (some 10 times its original investment).
In other divestitures, Onex sold Husky Injection Molding Systems to Berkshire Partners and OMERS Private Equity for some $2.1 billion. It also sold its stake in CSI Global Education in 2010. Another portfolio company, scrap metals broker TMS International, went public the following year.
When considering acquisitions, Onex seeks out growth investments, restructurings, and subsidiaries or divisions being sold by large corporations. It prefers to take a controlling position in its holdings, which enables it to make strategic decisions, though Onex does not usually get involved in the day-to-day activities of its companies.
The economic downturn negatively affected sales in many of Onex's industry segments, although the company's core manufacturing and health care holdings are showing signs of improvement. Sitel Worldwide and Hawker Beechcraft were among its hardest-hit portfolio companies and contributed to an overall loss for Onex for 2010.
The company is poised for growth, however. It raised some $4.3 billion for its latest large-cap private equity fund, which began investing in 2010. That year Onex joined forces with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board to acquire UK-based manufacturing group Tomkins for about $5 billion. It also bought Sport Supply Group and acquired the approximately three-quarters stake in Res-Care it didn't already own. In 2011 Onex invested more than $870 million in US-based JELD-WEN to gain a nearly 60% stake in the door and window manufacturer. Also that year the company began raising $700 million from investors for its third ONCAP fund. In 2012 it agreed to acquire Germany's KraussMaffei, a plastics machinery maker, for nearly $740 million; it marks the first European investment for private equity fund Onex Partners III.
In one of its highest-profile deals in recent years, Onex assumed ownership of the once-bankrupt Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel and Casino in 2009. In 2008 it bought a 50% stake in cabinet manufacturer RSI Home Products from RSI Holding for $318 million. Onex beefed up its credit securities investment operations in 2007 with the acquisition of a 50% interest in GK Capital, renamed Onex Credit Partners.
Onex's management team owns nearly a quarter of the company's stock.