May 3, 2011 / 11:52 AM / in 7 years

UPDATE 2-Berkshire Partners, Omers to buy Husky for $2.1 bln

* Onex Group to net about $1.8 bln from the deal

* Onex Corp’s share is about $635 mln

* Deal expected to close in Q3

* Goldman Sachs to finance deal (Adds details, background in paragraphs 3-9, 12)

May 3 (Reuters) - Private equity firms Berkshire Partners LLC and Omers Private Equity Inc struck a deal to buy Husky International from Canadian buyout shop Onex Corp for $2.1 billion.

Over the past year, there has been a flurry of secondary buyouts — when private equity firms sell assets to rival buyout firms — as firms are under pressure to invest billions of dollars raised during 2006 to 2008.

Onex and its affiliates bought Bolton, Ontario-based Husky with an equity investment of about $622 million in late 2007 and will get total net proceeds of $1.8 billion, it said in a statement. Onex’s portion of the proceeds is about $635 million.

The deal comes two weeks after Reuters reported that Berkshire Partners was in late-stage talks to buy the plastic molding equipment maker and that Bain Capital and several other private equity firms had also looked at the business, but walked away. [ID:nN19101592]

John Galt will continue to lead Husky, which is one of the world’s largest suppliers of injection molding equipment to make products such as bottles and caps for beverages, containers for food, medical components and consumer electronic parts.

“(Husky) is a global market leader in an industry that is poised to benefit from the growth in emerging markets,” Lisa Melchior, managing director of Omers, said in a statement.

Under Onex’s wing, Husky has reduced waste, shed non-core and non-performing assets, and re-invested with a focus on core customers, which has led to its operating profit more than doubling in the three years, Onex said.

Husky posted revenue of $1.1 billion in 2010, according to Onex’s website. The unit had earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $197 million in the year ended Sept. 30.

Boston-based Berkshire Partners typically does deals between $200 million and $2 billion, according to its website, while Toronto-based Omers has over $5.5 billion of investments under management.

The deal is expected to close early in the third quarter.

Shares of Toronto-based Onex closed at C$35.83 on Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Berkshire Partners and Omers said that affiliates of Goldman, Sachs & Co would provide financing and TD Securities Inc acted as their financial adviser. (Reporting by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay and Savio D’Souza; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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