London-based private equity firms Candover and Cinven are planning a consolidation play in the European scientific publishing sector following reports of a bid for BertelsmannSpringer, Bertelsmann’s scientific publishing unit.
Bertelsmann is thought to be seeking offers in the region of E1bn for the business, which encompasses approximately 70 publishing houses and subsidiaries across 15 countries in Europe, the USA and Asia.
Candover joint managing director Colin Buffin is reported to have told Bloomberg that the acquisition of Kluwer Academic from Dutch company Wolters Kluwer gave the firm an ‘interesting perspective’ on the BertelsmannSpringer deal.
Cinven and Candover’s interest in the publishing sector is well-documented. Candover was invested in Regional Independent Media, the UK group, and completed a £560m exit in March 2002. Cinven participated in the recent E1.2bn acquisition of Vivendi Universal’s healthcare and trade publishing assets alongside Apax Partners and Carlyle Group.
Bertelsmann has appointed Merrill Lynch to oversee the sale of the business.