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Onex posts $44-million loss Add to ...

Onex Corp. posted a $44-million loss in the third quarter but the company's chief executive and controlling shareholder, Gerald Schwartz, says the Toronto-based investment and management firm is in "great shape."

The loss was actually a dramatic improvement from the $180-million shortfall that Onex recorded a year earlier when it wrote down the value of its holdings in Hawker Beechcraft, an aircraft manufacturer.

Onex is one of Canada's largest and most diversified companies, with investments in everything from electronics manufacturing services through Celestica Inc., to automotive and aerospace manufacturing, to real-estate, health-care and financial services.

Most of the Onex business segments were profitable during the third quarter of this year but that was offset by $81-million of losses in the segment that includes Hawker Beechcraft and several other holdings.

All but one of Onex's business segments - aerostructures - showed improvements to their bottom line compared with the year-earlier period.

On the top line, the company's revenue fell slightly to just under $6-billion from just over $6-billion.

Onex ended the quarter with $600-million in cash and cash-equivalents, no debt and about $2.7-billion (U.S.) of capital available from partnerships it manages.

"Having over $3-billion of committed capital and cash, and strong credit markets - Onex is in great shape to acquire new businesses," Mr. Schwartz said in a statement.

"However, finding great businesses with strong management teams is never easy. So, the pace of our investing is difficult to predict."

Onex is best known for acquiring and attempting to turn around businesses that have fallen on hard times, often because of industry overexpansion or consolidation.

It often only owns a minority equity interest in its companies but retains voting control that allows it to manage the business on behalf of itself and its partners, which include pension funds and other institutional investors.

"Overall, our existing businesses have performed well despite the difficult operating environment experienced over the last few years," Mr. Schwartz said Wednesday.

"The cash flow characteristics of many of our companies have enabled a number of them to pay down debt over the last year and we continue to monitor the credit markets and opportunistically refinance credit facilities and extend maturities."

During the quarter, Husky International and Carestream Health paid distributions totalling $160-million, of which Onex' share was $58-million, the company said.

In September, Onex and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board acquired Tomkins PLC for approximately $5-billion.

The Canadian Press

 

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