Cinven, Candover acquire publishing business for E600m

The two UK buyout firms have agreement over the acquisition of Kluwer Academic Publishers from Dutch parent Wolters Kluwer.

UK private equity firms Candover and Cinven have won the race to acquire academic and scientific publisher Kluwer Academic Publishers (KAP), beating competition from trade buyers including US publisher John Wiley and UK-based Taylor & Francis.


Of the total E600m transaction price, Candover and Cinven will each invest E107.5m, with the management team led by KAP CEO, Peter Hendriks, investing alongside them. Senior and mezzanine facilities for the transaction have been arranged and underwritten by Barclays Capital.


Wolters Kluwer is selling the business as part of its plan to reduce dependence on its traditional publishing businesses. The Dutch company plans instead to develop its publishing activities in the international health and science sectors, focusing on the medical markets.


KAP is headquartered in Dordrecht, Holland, with offices in the UK, US and Russia. The business publishes 700 scientific and technical journal titles and approximately 1,200 new book titles a year, in addition to managing an active backlist of about 13,000 books. Turnover for the year to 31 December 2001 was E150m.


Candover and Cinven have completed several previous transactions in the publishing and media industry. Candover's deals include Regional Independent Media, Midland Independent Media, Centaur Communications, Orion and Earls Court & Olympia. Cinven's most recent deal in the sector was the acquisition of the healthcare and business publishing activities of Vivendi Universal Publishing, which it acquired alongside Carlyle and Apax for E1.2bn in April 2002. 


Candover and Cinven say they plan to build the business into the number two in the publishing sector. The intention is to consolidate the business with one of its European competitors, rivalling market leader Reed Elsevier.