Exit: BC Partners seeks billion-dollar IPO for Springer Nature
Frankfurt — Springer Nature will in all likelihood be the next major IPO in Frankfurt. Springer Nature generated sales of 1.6 billion euros in 2017 and is owned by the Holtzbrinck publishing group, which holds 53 percent of the shares, and the financial investor BC Partners. The private equity house had acquired the predecessor company named Springer Science in 2013 for 3.3 billion euros from the then owner EQT. The PE investor had acquired the predecessor company Springer Science in summer 2013 for €3.3 billion. Even then, the then owner EQT — also a private equity investor — had also considered an IPO in parallel with the M&A transaction.
The Berlin-based publishing house, which has a large site in Heidelberg, announced that it plans to list on the Regulated Market (Prime Standard) of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Springer did not provide any information on the timing of the IPO on Friday.
While Holtzbrinck does not want to divest itself of shares in the course of the IPO, BC Partners could reduce its stake in Springer Nature, according to a press release from the company. This would depend on the market environment. BC Partners has injected 494 million euros of equity into Springer Science.
Springer Nature wants to reduce debts
Springer Nature says it intends to use the IPO proceeds to become more financially flexible and to open up the option of financing via the equity market. In addition, the publisher aims to reduce the net debt ratio to 3.5 times the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) from 2017 adjusted for high recurring and continuing investments.
According to company information, net financial debt most recently amounted to 3 billion euros, and adjusted Ebitda was 551 million euros in 2017. The IPO would reduce the debt burden to 2 billion euros, a spokeswoman told FINANCE.