Cinven and Candover, leading European buyout specialists, announced today that they have reached an agreement in principle to acquire Kluwer Academic Publishers (KAP) from its Dutch parent, multinational information services company Wolters Kluwer, for a total enterprise value of €600 million. The transaction is expected to complete in early 2003.

Cinven and Candover will each invest €107.5 million, with the management team led by KAP CEO, Peter Hendriks, investing alongside them. Senior and mezzanine facilities to support the transaction have been arranged and underwritten by Barclays Capital. M&A advice was provided by Morgan Stanley.

KAP is one of the leading international publishers of information for scientists in academic and corporate research functions. Headquartered in Dordrecht, The Netherlands, with offices in New York, Boston, London and Moscow, the company 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 31st December 2001 was €150 million, with journals accounting for around 70% and book sales around 30%.

Peter Hendriks, CEO of KAP commented:
“It is our intention to maintain the pre-eminent status of our publications by continuing to pay close attention to meeting the needs of our authors, librarians and readers and ensuring our on-line delivery platform is reliable. Additionally, independence will give us the opportunity to identify and act on opportunities for growth more effectively going forward, with the full support of our financial backers.”

Brian Linden, director of Cinven, commented:
“The ability of the private equity syndicate to act quickly and decisively meant that we were able to deliver an effective and compelling exit solution to Wolters Kluwer. We look forward to working with KAP’s management team to strengthen further the company’s position in its niche markets.”

Simon Leefe, director of Candover, commented:

“KAP is a high quality business operating in a niche sector with high barriers to entry. The scientific, technical and medical information publishing industry enjoys sustainable growth throughout the economic cycle, and we are backing a management team with solid plans for both revenue and margin growth.”

Both Cinven and Candover have long track records of investing in the publishing and media industry. Cinven’s most recent deal in the media sector was the acquisition of the healthcare and business publishing activities of Vivendi Universal Publishing in April 2002. Cinven also formerly owned Routledge, a publisher of academic journals, subsequently acquired by Taylor and Francis. Its other media investments have included Newsquest and IPC Media. Candover’s deals include Regional Independent Media, Midland Independent Media, Centaur Communications, Orion and Earls Court & Olympia.