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Anne-Sylvaine Chassany & Kristen Schweizer
EQT Partners AB, the Swedish private equity firm owned by the Wallenberg family, agreed to buy German academic publisher Springer Science+Business Media GmbH.
The sale will generate cash proceeds of 11.4 million pounds ($18.6 million) for London-based Candover Investments Plc, which owned the publisher with another private equity firm, Cinven Ltd., Candover said in a statement. EQT will own 82 percent of Springer and the Government of Singapore Investment Corp., manager of more than $100 billion of the city’s foreign reserves, will hold the rest, the Swedish firm said in a separate statement. It didn’t disclose the value of the deal.
Buyout firms are acquiring and selling assets again as banks resume lending after a two-year drought caused by the financial crisis. The firms, which typically fund at least half of their purchases with debt, announced $15.7 billion of takeovers in the third quarter, up 52 percent from the second quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s still 66 percent below the year-earlier period.
“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 an e-mailed statement. “A refinancing agreement with a syndicate of banks will give the Springer Group medium-term stability by removing imminent potential refinancing issues.”
Cinven, Candover exit
Cinven and Candover formed Springer Science in 2003 when they bought Kluwer Academic Publishers and BertelsmannSpringer. The Berlin-based publisher has 60 publishing houses in 20 countries and employs more than 5,000 people. It produces 2,000 journals and more than 6,500 new book titles every year.
“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 Chief Executive Officer Derk Haank said in the statement.
The deal values Springer Science at about 2.3 billion euros ($3.39 billion), people familiar with the transaction said yesterday. It values Springer equity at as much as 150 million euros and includes 2.2 billion euros of debt, one of the people said.
Candover said last week it may close its latest 3 billion- euro buyout fund after canceling a 1 billion-euro pledge in February amid a cash shortage.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc., UniCredit Group, Barclays Capital and Deutsche Bank AG are mandated to arrange and underwrite the financing for the buyout, according to the statement today.