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Onex buying U.S. insurance broker USI for $2.3-billion

Onex Corporation Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer Gerald Schwartz speaks at the company's annual general meeting in Toronto on Thursday, May 10, 2012.

Nathan Denette/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Onex Corp. is buying U.S. insurance broker USI in a $2.3-billion (U.S.) deal.

Based in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., USI is the ninth biggest insurance broker in the United States and the 13th largest in the world.

Onex managing director Robert Le Blanc said in a news release Monday that he expects USI to grow both organically and "by building on its track record of successful acquisitions."

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USI has a mix of property and casualty, employee benefits and retirement consulting, with more than 3,300 employees in some 100 offices throughout the U.S.

The current owner of USI, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, bought the company for $1.4-billion in 2007.

USI recently acquired TD Insurance Inc. from Toronto-Dominion Bank.

Toronto-based Onex is a diversified holding company and private equity investment firm. Investments include companies in electronics manufacturing services, aerospace, health care and financial services.

Onex said financing of the deal includes a $700-million equity investment from Onex Partners III, in which Onex is a 25-per-cent limited partner.

Ownership upon closing -- expected by the end of the year -- will be shared among Onex, Onex Partners III and USI employees.

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About the Author
Quebec Business Correspondent

Bertrand has been covering Quebec business and finance since 2000. Before joining The Globe and Mail in 2000, he was the Toronto-based national business correspondent for Southam News. He has a B.A. from McGill University and a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Ryerson. More

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