Onex to open London office

The firm has hired managing director Tony Morgan (pictured) from CPPIB to help identify ‘great opportunities in the European market’, according to Onex CEO Gerald Schwartz.

Onex Corporation will open an office in London, the firm’s third location outside of its Toronto headquarters and New York office.

Onex’s London office will be led by managing director Tony Morgan, who has joined from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board where he was a vice president in the principal investing group and a member of the private investments investment committee. Prior to working at CPPIB, Morgan spent seven years in London at private equity firms Alchemy Partners and Permira.

Onex principal David Hirsch will also move from Toronto to work in the London office, which is expected to open by the fall and will likely be comprised of less than 10 professionals.

“We see great opportunities in the European market for investors like Onex and are pleased to have Tony, a British national and experienced investor,” Onex chief executive officer Gerald Schwartz said in a statement.

Onex has historically not been an active investor in the UK or Europe, though the firm previously worked with Morgan in 2010 when it took UK engineering company Tomkins private alongside CPPIB for $4.7 billion – the largest buyout of the year. Onex’s most recent fund that collected $4.3 billion in 2009 has investments in four companies, all of which are headquartered in the US.

Onex managing director Seth Mersky told Private Equity International the firm’s London office would likely spend the majority of its time looking for opportunities in the UK, German and French markets.

The firm’s expansion into Europe and addition of Morgan comes roughly two months after the announcement that Onex managing director Andrew Sheiner, who also oversaw ONCAP, would be leaving the firm effective 30 June. The firm has yet to hire a replacement for Sheiner.

Onex manages private equity, real estate and credit securities investments, managing approximately C$14 billion (€10.8 billion, $13.7 billion) of which C$10 billion is third-party capital.