BC Partners Is Sole Bidder for Springer Science – Sources

Springer Science+Business Media, which is considering an IPO, is mulling an offer from buyout firm BC Partners, Reuters reports. The German academic publisher is expected to make a decision about whether to sell or go public by the end of this week. BC’s offer would value the company at between $4.1 billion and $4.6 billion, the sources told Reuters. Springer is owned by Swedish private equity firm EQT and the Government of Singapore Investment Corp. (GIC).

(Reuters) – BC Partners is the last remaining bidder for Springer Science+Business Media, three people familiar with the negotiations said, as the publisher’s owners plan to decide by the end of this week whether to sell or float the group.

According to the sources, private equity firm BC Partners has made an offer valuing the German academic publisher between 3.1-3.5 billion euros ($4.1-4.6 billion).

Springer Science, which is owned by Swedish private equity firm EQT and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), publishes 2,200 English-language journals and more than 8,000 new book titles every year across five main fields that include science, business and transport.

Its main competitor is Anglo-Dutch publisher Reed Elsevier, whose shares trade at an enterprise value of 9.6 times expected core earnings, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine data.

This multiple would indicate a valuation of around 3.3 billion euros for Springer Science.

Springer announced plans last week to sell new shares in a public offer worth 760 million euros to cut debt plus a possible further 380 million euros worth of existing shares. That plan could be cancelled if an outright sale is agreed.

Springer Science, EQT and BC Partners declined to comment.