Owned by The Thomson Corporation, Routledge was a leading publisher of academic texts and journals in the humanities and social sciences sector. In June 1996 Cinven led a £28 million management buyin in support of a highly experienced and professional management team led by executive chairman Robert Kiernan, previously a senior director at Thomson.
The business had seen sales growth for several years while upgrading its operational efficiencies through the use of new technology. Once acquired, the plan was to continue to drive sales while developing existing internal initiatives still further. At the same time further growth was to be achieved through launching new products, exploring new sectors of the market and acquiring businesses which could complement those forming Routledge’s existing portfolio. Additional equity funds were provided to the company for the acquisition of journals publisher Carfax in March 1997 and for the purchase of construction industry publisher EF&N Spon six months later.
Following a stock market flotation in May 1998, Taylor and Francis offered to acquire Routledge, an offer that was accepted in November that year.
Multiple returned on investment: 2x.