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Onex bumps up target for flagship fund, raises $6.7 bln

Onex Corp has so far raised almost US$6.7 billion for its fifth flagship private equity fund, the firm said in a Securities & Exchange Commission filing.

The Toronto investor also increased the target for Onex Partners V to US$7 billion from an earlier US$6.5 billion, possibly on the strength of the first close in July. At that time, Fund V had secured US$5.2 billion, or 80 percent of the original goal.

In the filing, Onex said the US$6.7 billion raised is inclusive of capital committed by the firm, its parallel vehicles, and the general partner.

Most of about US$4.2 billion raised by Fund V came from third-party investors. The firm’s Onex Partners series, launched in 2003, has drawn commitments from global institutional investors, including pension systems, sovereign wealth funds, banks, insurers and family offices.

Limited partners that have reportedly made or considered making commitments include New Jersey State Investment Council and Texas County and District Retirement System.

Onex, a listed firm, also reported contributing more than US$2.4 billion to Fund V. That’s up from the US$2 billion injected at the time of the initial close.

With US$6.7 billion in the bank, the fund is already the biggest raised by Onex in its 33-year history. While not yet closed, it is now 17 percent larger than its predecessor, Onex Partners IV, which collected US$5.7 billion in 2014.

Onex did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

Onex Partners’ funds make large-cap buyouts of operating companies in North America and Europe. Active in more than 15 sectors, they have traditionally focused on carve-outs, growth platforms, restructurings and other opportunities.

Onex was highly active on the deal front in 2017’s early months. In March, the firm closed its latest platform investment, acquiring Parkdean Resorts, a U.K. operator of caravan holiday parks, for about US$1.65 billion (£1.35 billion).

The firm also completed three liquidity events, selling USI Insurance Services for US$4.3 billion and taking Emerald Expositions and Jeld-Wen public.

Since then, deal-making has been quieter. In September, Onex reduced its position in airplane lease company BBAM by joining management in selling a 30 percent stake to Sinapore’s GIC. BBAM drew a 50 percent investment from Onex in 2012 for US$165 million.

In the same month, Reuters reported Onex was in talks with France’s Airbus to acquire Premium Aerotec, a large-plane components subsidiary.

Onex was founded in 1984 by CEO Gerry Schwartz. He leads a team that includes Senior Managing Directors Ewout Heersink, Robert Le Blanc, Seth Mersky and Anthony Munk.

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