Strong exits boost cash for Onex

The firm’s $4.3bn sale of USI to KKR and CDPQ in May resulted in $563m moving from private equity holdings to cash.

Onex, the Canadian private equity firm, has posted a 54 percent rise in cash and near-cash following several large disposals in the second quarter of 2017, according to its second-quarter earnings results.

Cash rose to $2 billion as of 30 June, up from $1.3 billion of cash and near-cash  or highly liquid assets  as of 31 March, the results noted. The growth followed a $4.3 billion sale of USI to KKR and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec in May, which resulted in $563 million moving from Onex’s private equity assets to cash.

The firm also received $135 million from a secondary public offering for building products manufacturer JELD-WEN and $32 million from the Emerald Expositions float during Q2. Cash accounted for 30 percent of Onex’s assets under management as of 30 June, up from 20 percent the previous quarter and exceeding its 25 percent target, according to an earnings webcast on 10 August.

The results follow a $5.2 billion first close for Onex Partners V in July, with commitments from investors including the New Jersey Division of Investment and New Mexico Public Employees Retirement Association, according to PEI data.

Onex is targeting $6.5 billion for OPV, Private Equity International reported in July. The firm is currently the largest limited partner in the fund, having committed $2 billion of its own capital to the vehicle, according to its results. It is unclear when a final close will be held.

“Given our strong balance sheet and liquidity position coupled with our recent fundraising success in both our private equity and credit platforms, we’ve never been in a better position to invest,” Gerry Schwartz, chairman and chief executive of Onex, said in a statement.

Private equity accounted for 56 percent of assets as of 30 June, below the firm’s 65 percent target and down from 67 percent in Q1, according to the webcast.

Onex now has $2 billion of cash and $5.6 billion of uncalled committed capital available from limited partners, the results noted. The firm has $24 billion in assets under management, according to its website.