Onex buys into doormaker JELD-WEN for $675 million

TORONTO Wed May 4, 2011 5:58pm EDT

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TORONTO (Reuters) - Onex Corp (OCX.TO), one of Canada's top private equity firms, said on Wednesday it would invest $675 million in U.S. door maker JELD-WEN Holdings Inc as it bets on the recovery of global housing markets.

Onex said it would acquire a 39 percent stake in the private, Oregon-based company through a $475 million purchase of convertible preferred stock.

It said it is also investing $200 million through a convertible note that can be redeemed within 18 months with proceeds from the sale of certain noncore assets.

"We believe that JELD-WEN's competitive position and well-known brands in markets around the world position the company very well to take advantage of the eventual recovery in global housing markets," Anthony Munk, an Onex managing director, said in a statement.

The acquisition came just days after Onex, Canada's biggest leveraged buyout firm, announced the $2.1 billion sale of Husky International, an injection-molding company, to private equity players Berkshire Partners LLC and Omers Private Equity Inc.

Onex and its affiliates bought Bolton, Ontario-based Husky in late 2007 for about $622 million.

Onex went public in 1987 and quickly became a major private equity player that specializes in buying distressed companies in industries as diverse as electronics manufacturing, health care, movie theaters and cosmetics.

JELD-WEN is one of the largest private companies in the United States, with 20,000 employees worldwide and $3 billion in revenue in 2010.

The Onex investment will be made by its Onex Partners III fund, with $120 million coming from Onex as a limited partner in the fund.

The private equity market has roared back to life in North America in 2011 as top players take advantage of post-recession prices for high quality assets and more companies put themselves up for sale after holding off during a dismal selling environment.

At the same time, private equity firms are under pressure to invest billions of dollars raised between 2006 and 2008.

(Reporting by Pav Jordan; editing by Peter Galloway)

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