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Onex chief executive officer Gerry Schwartz.

MARK BLINCH/Mark Blinch/Reuters

Private equity investment firm Onex Corp. reported Thursday a loss of $51-million for 2010 compared with a profit of $112-million in 2009.

The loss amounted to 43 cents a share for the year compared with a share profit of 92 cents a year earlier. Revenue totalled $24.4-million, down slightly from $24.8-million.

"While our investment pipeline activity has not yet returned to prerecession levels, the acquisition market continues to improve and we are much busier than we have been in the last few years," chairman and chief executive officer Gerald Schwartz said in a statement.

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Last week, Onex announced a deal that it and a group of investors have agreed to sell their 31-per-cent stake in Emergency Medical Services Corp. for $878-million (U.S.).

The investment group will see net proceeds of $339-million from the sale, which is expected to close in the second quarter. Emergency Medical Services provides doctors and runs an ambulance service in the United States.

Onex manages a diversified portfolio of assets including a substantial stake in electronics manufacturing company Celestica Inc. Last year, the firm and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board struck a $5-billion deal to acquire Tomkins PLC, a British engineering and manufacturing company with operations across Europe.

It also completed the acquisition of Sport Supply Group, a leading manufacturer and distributor of sporting goods in the United States, in a transaction valued at $200-million.

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