Onex Boosts Fund Stake, Cites Optimism

TORONTO (Reuters) – Onex Corp (OCX.TO), one of Canada’s best-known buyout companies, said on Monday it is raising its stake in its newest fund by 60 percent due to optimism about near-term investment opportunities.

Toronto-based Onex, which has stakes in sectors as diverse as electronics manufacturing, health care, cosmetics, and movie theaters, said it would boost its stake in Onex Partners III to $800 million from $500 million, bringing the total fund size to US$4.3 billion with Onex continuing to be the largest investor.

“We believe the investing environment will be rich with opportunities in the near future and will be particularly attractive for value investors like Onex,” said Chief Executive Gerald Schwartz.

Onex was formed about 25 years ago, and went public in 1987 as it became Canada’s biggest and best-known leveraged buyout firm.

At Sept. 30, 2009, Onex’ management team had more than $1 billion invested in Onex shares and in its operating companies. The shares were up 5 Canadian cents at C$23.65 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday morning.

In total, the company manages about $11 billion.

($1=$1.04 Canadian) (Reporting by Pav Jordan; editing by Peter Galloway)