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Onex exits Cineplex Galaxy for C$185m

The Toronto Stock Exchange-listed asset manager bought Loews Cineplex in 2002 and sold most of the business to Bain, Carlyle and Spectrum Equity Investors in 2004. It has now sold the remaining Galaxy portion of the business.

Onex Corporation is selling most of its investment in motion picture exhibitor Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund to a group of underwriters led by RBC Capital Markets, Scotia Capital and National Bank Financial for about C$184.6 million (€112 million; $148 million).

Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund owns about 97 percent of Cineplex Entertainment and is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Onex is selling about 13 million trust units it owns or controls at a price of $14.25 per unit. The firm will control about 2 percent of the outstanding units of Cineplex Galaxy after the sale.

Onex, along with Oaktree Capital Management and Pacific Capital Group, bought Loews Cineplex Entertainment in 2002 for C$1.3 billion at a time when the company was experiencing turmoil in the recession. Onex used about C$375 million in equity in the deal.

The firm and Oaktree sold a portion of their holdings in Loews in 2004 in a deal valued at C$1.46 billion to Bain Capital, The Carlyle Group and Spectrum Equity Investors. Onex’s share of the cash proceeds totaled C$775 million. Onex held onto the Cineplex Galaxy portion of the business, which leases or has joint venture interests in 130 theaters throughout Canada.

Onex, which is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange, manages about C$11 billion in assets. Onex is raising its third private equity fund, targeting C$4 billion. Onex is the largest limited partner in the fund, which also includes US pensions The Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board and the New Mexico Public Employees Retirement Association.

Onex raised C$3.5 billion for its second fund in 2005, and C$1.7 billion for its debut fund in 2004.