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Reuters – Springer Science Ready for IPO

German publisher Springer Science+Business Media may list on the stock market in the near future, reported Reuters. Reuters had reported earlier this month that Springer Science’s private equity owners were considering either selling the publisher or other ways to refinance the 1.72 billion euros ($2.2 billion) debt used to back their 2.3 billion euro acquisition in 2009.

Reuters – German publisher Springer Science+Business Media may list on the stock market in the near future, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS) reported on Saturday.

“This could be the case in a few months,” chief executive Derk Haank was quoted as saying in the weekly paper, adding the company’s “prospects were never better” with profit and sales growing at 5-7 percent annually.

Reuters had reported earlier this month that Springer Science’s private equity owners were considering either selling the publisher or other ways to refinance the 1.72 billion euros ($2.2 billion) debt used to back their 2.3 billion euro acquisition in 2009.

The FAS said Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan had been appointed to float the company, which is valued at 3-4 billion euros.

Springer Science’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) should rise to roughly 350 million euros this year from 310 million in 2011, on revenue of 1 billion, the paper said.

the firm’s website says it is the second-largest publisher worldwide in science, technology and medicine. Altogether it publishes 2,000 journals and more than 7,000 new book titles every year across six main fields that also include architecture, business, and transport.

In Germany, it is known for its Platow Brief newsletter for stock investors, similar to Barron’s in the United States.

Springer Science’s Haank aims to shift content, where possible, to digital and charge extra for paper versions, mainly sold to libraries.

“We are transitioning everything,” he told the FAS.

When asked about a possible acquisition by Bertelsmann , which had said in April it was interested in the firm, Haank said: “No one has spoken with me.”

British financial investors Candover and Cinven created Springer Science+Business Media in 2004 by merging Dutch group Kluwer Academic Publishers with German firm BertelsmannSpringer.

In December 2009, Swedish private equity firm EQT together with the private equity arm of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) bought 82 percent and 18 percent of the company, respectively, from Candover and Cinven. ($1 = 0.7674 euro) (Reporting By Christiaan Hetzner; Editing by Dan Lalor)