Onex Corporation

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Onex Corporation
Public company, Holding company
Traded as TSXOCX
Industry Private Equity
Founded 1983
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Key people
Gerald W. Schwartz
Products Private equity funds, Leveraged buyouts

Onex Corporation is a Toronto-based private equity investment firm and holding company. The firm is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Founder Gerry Schwartz holds 67.6% of the voting control and continues to serve as chairman and CEO.


Schwartz had previously worked at Bear Stearns under legendary investor Jerome Kohlberg, Jr.[1] Kohlberg left in 1976, where he was soon joined by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, and they founded Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.[1] Schwartz returned to Canada, where he started working with Izzy Asper.[1] Schwartz later founded Onex on his own in 1983.[1]

Since its founding, the firm has generated a gross internal rate of return of 28%.[1]


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. 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. They are also in the movie theatre business, both in Canada with Cineplex Entertainment, as well as in Mexico with Cinemex, the latter in partnership with U.S.-based The Carlyle Group. The firm has also long been invested in the airline industry and is well known for its failed 1999 attempt to buy both Air Canada and Canadian Airlines to merge them.[2]

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. In January 2007, Onex signed a deal to acquire the Raytheon Aircraft Company from Raytheon (forming Hawker Beechcraft).

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.[3]

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 Ltd, Canadian Securities Institute and CiCi's Pizza.

On December 3, 2012, Onex took a 50% stake in aircraft lessor BBAM and invested $75 million in aircraft leasing firm FLY Leasing.[4]

In May 2013, Nielsen Holdings announced it would sell its expositions business to Onex Corporation for $950 million.[5]

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.[6]


Onex is headquartered on the 49th floor of Brookfield Place in Toronto, with a branch office in New York City.


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