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Onex earns US$501 million in third quarter as it shakes up portfolio

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TORONTO — Onex Corp. says its private equity investments increased in value this year, despite the economic volatility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company, which manages a fund that bought WestJet Airlines Ltd. in a $5-billion deal last December, didn't announce details about the Calgary-based airline.

Overall, the Toronto-based investment firm says it earned US$501 million, or US$5.29 per fully diluted share, in the three months ended Sept. 30.

In the same period last year, the company reported earnings of US$100 million, or 99 cents US per diluted share.

The company, which makes money in several ways including buying and selling companies, lending and fees for managing assets for clients, declared a dividend of 10 cents per share for the fourth quarter — unchanged since mid-2019.

Despite recent hardships for airlines, including WestJet, Onex says its private equity investments yielded gross returns of 14 per cent during the third quarter, while shareholder capital rose by about 10 per cent.

Chief executive Gerry Schwartz says Onex has been improving its portfolio, making investments in benefit insurer OneDigital, trade-show company Emerald Holdings and a clinical services group.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 13, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:ONEX)

The Canadian Press