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Springer Group Sold

Of Interest.  Ann
Library Journal.com

By Norman Oder 12/11/2009

Springer Group, Second-Leading STM Publisher, Sold by/to Private Equity Firms

Sale involves $146 million in cash and the transfer of $3.22 billion of debt.

The Berlin-based Springer Group, the world's second-largest STM
publisher, has been sold, six years after it was formed by the
purchase and merger of Bertelsmann Springer and Kluwer Academic
by the British private equity firms Cinven and Candover.

The purchasers are EQT, a Swedish private equity fund, and GIC, a
private fund backed by the Government of Singapore. EQT will own
82% and GIC 18%.

The Times of London put the sale at 2.3 billion Euros ($3.36
billion), including 100 million Euros ($146 million)  in cash and
the assumption of about 2.2 billion Euros ($3.22 billion) of

High return:  The private equity firms paid about 1.6 billion pounds
for the two components of Springer. The Financial Times reported
that the deal values Springer at about eight times earnings, as
with rivals Informa and Reed Elsevier, and, considering the
refinancings that increased the debt, gave the owners a 29 per
cent annual return.

EQT and GIC have agreed to inject new equity into the Springer
Group, to strengthen its balance sheet and decrease the overall
cost of funding, Springer said in a statement. This deal is
expected to conclude by early February 2010.

Growth potential:  "Springer is perfectly positioned in a market
where we see great growth potential. We believe that by working
together with the company and the best-in-class management team
under CEO Derk Haank we can drive both expansion and further
development of the successful e-business," said Marcus Brennecke,
Senior Partner at EQT Partners, advisor to EQT V. "As the number
2 player in the STM sector, Springer is a great platform for
further consolidation and market share growth."

(The leader is Elsevier, part of Reed Elsevier, also the parent
company of Library Journal.)

Derk Haank, Springer's CEO, said, "The Springer Executive
Management Team has had constructive and collegial discussions
with EQT. I am confident that this marks the beginning of a new
exciting and successful chapter for us and for our new partners
at EQT and GIC. The sale will allow us to move our ambitious and
ongoing 'e' strategy forward, and to invest more heavily for our
stakeholder's benefit - this is the best solution for the
company, our employees and shareholders."

Springer publishes around 2000 journals and more than 6500 new
books a year, and has the largest STM eBook Collection worldwide.
Springer operates in about 20 countries in Europe, the United
States, and Asia. It has more than 5000 employees. Last year, its
annual sales were about 892 million Euros.

(c) 2009, Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier
Inc. All Rights Reserved.