EQT V and GIC agree to sell Springer Science+Business Media to BC Partners

  • Total enterprise value of around EUR 3.3 billion including a performance-related component
  • Closing expected August 2013 

EQT V and GIC Special Investments Pte Ltd, the private equity arm of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation Pte Ltd (GIC), today announced that they have agreed to sell Springer Science+Business Media (Springer), a leading global scientific, technical and medical (STM) publisher, to the private equity firm BC Partners Limited (BC Partners) for a total enterprise value of around EUR 3.3 billion including a performance-related component, which allows EQT V to participate further in the promising development of the company.

EQT V and GIC acquired Springer in 2010 and installed a strong industrial board with media and database experts to support the excellent management team around CEO Derk Haank and the company. Since then, the owners have invested EUR 304 million and Springer has improved sales by 6.4% p.a. to EUR 981 million and EBITDA by 12.6% p.a. to EUR 341 million in 2012¹.

Marcus Brennecke, Partner at EQT Partners, investment advisor to EQT V, said: “Springer is a leading player in the highly interesting academic publishing market. We are proud to have supported the company’s growth since 2010. The development of Springer’s portfolio towards STM content and the significant investments into the digitalization of its business model provide an excellent basis for Springer’s future success. EQT V announced to focus on the IPO track last Friday, but BC Partners then returned with a revised offer, which reflects a highly attractive valuation. The deal allows EQT V to further participate in the future development of the company. We are convinced that Springer will continue its growth path with BC Partners as their strong new partner.”

Springer sells academic content, primarily journals, databases and books, to academic research libraries and libraries of research-intensive institutions as well as to an increasing number of corporate customers. Since the acquisition, EQT V and GIC have supported the group’s large investments into digital migration. Capex and investments in content have increased by 14.2% p.a. from 2010 to 2012 to EUR 114 million. The group’s transition to a digital delivery-based model has significantly reduced costs and created new growth potential. SpringerLink, the group’s digital platform re-launched in 2012, is at the heart of Springer’s operations model.

Derk Haank, CEO of Springer, said: “As a leading STM publisher, Springer is extremely well positioned to benefit from the significant growth trends in scientific publishing such as open access, eBooks and the rapidly growing number of researchers in emerging economies. We are glad that we will have BC Partners at our side when realizing this potential.”

Springer was the first commercial STM publisher to fully embrace open access, one of the most important trends in the scientific publishing market, and is now the largest open access publisher worldwide, with a 30% market share in 2012. As a truly global scientific publisher the group operates in 22 countries spanning five continents. Springer has high exposure in emerging markets, with long-standing activities and reputation as well as continued investments in these regions. 

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to be closed in August 2013.

Contacts:             Johan Hähnel, EQT V Spokesperson, +46 8 506 55 334
                             Marcus Brennecke, EQT Partners, +49 89 2554 9927

About EQT
EQT is the leading private equity group in Northern Europe with approximately EUR 20 billion in raised capital, portfolio companies with total sales of more than EUR 25 billion and over 550,000 employees. The funds’ investment philosophy is to help acquired companies grow and develop into great and sustainable companies, both under EQT’s ownership and with future owners. The result so far: the over 60 previously or currently owned portfolio companies have during EQT’s ownership seen an average annual increase in the number of employees by 11%, sales by 11% and earnings by 15%. Almost all of the return on investments is attributed to operational improvements such as increased sales and efficiency gains.

EQT supports a growth oriented business strategy, which has its roots in the Nordic culture, and a transparent governance model, combined with access to EQT’s unique international network of industrialists. By implementing clear strategies and having access to operational expertise and ownership skills, the portfolio companies develop and grow. The strategies and implementation of operational excellence are driven by the appointed CEO and management team, board members who are handpicked from EQT’s Industrial Network. Portfolio companies are monitored by more than 120 Investment Advisory Professionals from EQT Partners. EQT´s funds represent the investment of hundreds of investors from all parts of the world.

Funds launched since the beginning of 2012 are managed in the Netherlands, the UK and Luxembourg. EQT Holdings AB, based in Stockholm, Sweden is the parent company of these general partners/fund managers. This means that EQT applies a corporate structure with transparency for all stakeholders, unique in the private equity industry.  

EQT’s mission since its first investment two decades ago remains the same – create value in medium-sized to large companies in Northern and Eastern Europe, Asia and the United States by investing, helping them to develop and transform into great, leading companies.

About GIC
GIC Special Investments Pte Ltd, the private equity arm of GIC, is one of the world's largest private equity investors, managing a multi-billion dollar portfolio of fund and direct investments on behalf of the Government of Singapore. Established in 1981 and with a network of nine offices in key financial capitals around the world, GIC invests internationally in equities, fixed income, money-market instruments, real estate and private equity.

About Springer Science+Business Media
Springer Science+Business Media (www.springer.com) is a leading global scientific, technical and medical publisher, providing researchers in academia, scientific institutions and corporate R&D departments with quality content via innovative information products and services. Springer is also a trusted local-language publisher in Europe – especially in Germany and the Netherlands – primarily for physicians and professionals working in healthcare and road safety education. Springer published roughly 2,200 English-language journals and more than 8,000 new books in 2012, and the group is home to the world’s largest STM eBook collection, as well as the most comprehensive portfolio of open access journals. The group employs more than 7,000 individuals across the globe.

¹ Financials for Springer Science+Business Media S.A.

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