Springer SBM is the result of a merger between Kluwer Academic Publishers, acquired for €600 million from Wolters Kluwer in January 2003 and BertelsmannSpringer, acquired for €1,050 million from Bertelsmann in September 2003. The combined entity is the clear number two in the global scientific, technical and medical (STM) market and Springer is the leading German professional publisher in such areas as professional medicine and transport.
At the time of acquisition, Cinven’s strategy was based primarily on reaping merger benefits from the combined businesses. We appointed a leading management team in the industry to drive this process. The team focused on realising synergies from the integration of both STM businesses; realising top line growth in STM via online sales; and repositioning Springer’s professional publishing arm for growth. The performance of the business was driven through significant investment in a number of key initiatives, such as digitising the journal archive and developing a successful e-books business.
Profits increased significantly under Cinven’s ownership, from €147m to over €280m EBITDA: this allowed the business to be recapitalised successfully and eventually sold, generating a multiple of 1.8x our initial investment.