Onex Corporation

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Onex Corporation
Traded as TSXONEX
Industry Private Equity
Founded 1983; 35 years ago (1983)
Founder Gerry Schwartz
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Key people
Gerry Schwartz (CEO/Chairman)
Products Private equity funds, Leveraged buyouts
AUM $32 billion

Onex Corporation is a private equity investment firm and holding company based in Toronto, Ontario. As of 2016, the firm has over $32 billion of assets under management.


Gerry Schwartz had previously worked at Bear Stearns under the investor Jerome Kohlberg, Jr.[2] Kohlberg left in 1976, where he was soon joined by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, and they founded Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.[2] Schwartz returned to Canada, where he started working with Izzy Asper.[2] Schwartz later founded Onex on his own in 1983.[2]

Since its founding, the firm has generated a gross internal rate of return of 28%.[2]


The firm invests in a wide array of industries. It has shown a particular interest in buying the high-cost manufacturing portion of companies and turning these into low cost suppliers. In the 1980s it played this role in the auto parts industry.[citation needed] In 1996 it bought IBM's manufacturing division Celestica. Although the firm has majority control over most of its subsidiaries, rarely does it have whole ownership.[citation needed]

Onex is involved in the American health care industry, owning a number of firms there.[weasel words] They are also in the movie theatre business, both in Canada with Cineplex Entertainment retaining 2 per cent of units, as well as in Mexico with Cinemex, the latter in partnership with U.S.-based Carlyle Group. The first Cinemex Theatre in the US opened in Miami, Florida in August 2017. It is branded “CMX”.[3] The firm has long been invested in the airline industry, and is known for its failed 1999 attempt to buy both Air Canada and Canadian Airlines to merge them.[4]

In 2004 Onex bought Boeing Commercial Airplanes' Kansas and Oklahoma manufacturing facilities, forming Spirit AeroSystems, which was later partially floated in late 2006. In late 2006, Onex became a member of the Airline Partners Australia consortium in a takeover bid for Qantas.[citation needed] In January 2007, Onex signed a deal to acquire the Raytheon Aircraft Company from Raytheon (forming Hawker Beechcraft).[citation needed]

In January 2007, Onex signed a deal to acquire Eastman Kodak's medical imaging unit, including a Kodak factory in White City, Oregon. The company formed is now known as Carestream Health.

On June 28, 2007, Onex announced that it would partner with The Carlyle Group to buy the Allison Transmission unit of General Motors for $5.6 billion.[5]

Other companies in which Onex owns a significant stake include, as of November 2008, Sitel, American Medical Response, EmCare, Jeld-Wen, Husky Injection Molding Systems, Canadian Securities Institute and Cici's.

On December 3, 2012, Onex took a 50% stake in aircraft lessor BBAM and invested $75 million in aircraft leasing firm FLY Leasing.[6]

In May 2013, Nielsen Holdings announced it would sell its expositions business to Onex Corporation for $950 million.[7]

In November 2014, Onex agreed to buy cartons giant SIG Combibloc Group from the Rank Group in a deal reported to be worth $4.6bn.[8]

In July 2016, Onex and Baring Asia agreed to buy the Intellectual Property & Science business unit from Thomson Reuters for $3.55 billion.[9]

In October 2016, Onex agreed to buy Save-A-Lot from SuperValu.[10]

In December 2017, Onex announced to buy venue operator SMG.


Onex is headquartered on the 49th floor of Brookfield Place in Toronto, with branch offices in New York City, New Jersey, and London.[citation needed]


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