January 15, 2015 Last Updated 7:06 am

Springer Science+Business Media to merge with majority of Holtzbrinck-owned Macmillan Science and Education

The deal involves Nature Publishing Group, the publisher of Scientific American and Nature magazines

The PE firm BC Partners and Holtzbrinck Publishing Group announced today that it will merge Springer Science+Business Media, owned by funds advised by BCP, with the majority of Holtzbrinck-owned Macmillan Science and Education. The new entity will be under joint control of Holtzbrinck and funds advised by BCP, with Holtzbrinck retaining a 53 percent share.

Holtzbrinck Publishing Group is a family owned publishing company which owns Macmillan Science and Education, which itself includes Nature Publishing Group, Palgrave Macmillan and the businesses of Macmillan Education.

Nature-SA-coversSpringer Science+Business Media, the companies are eager to say, are not to the German publishing company Axel Springer.

“The combination is a big and exciting step into the future and a clear opportunity for all – for our customers, for our great teams in all parts of the world, for the development of the publishing houses involved and also for the family-owned Holtzbrinck Publishing Group,” Stefan von Holtzbrinck, CEO of the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, said in the company’s announcement. “I am very much looking forward to working together on our continued commitment to quality, first-rate services and success with our new partners from BC Partners and Springer Science+Business Media and a superb, enlarged management team in the newly forged entity.”

The details of the complicated merger were spelled out in the announcement (reproduced in full below):

The merger comprises Springer Science+Business Media (owned by funds advised by BCP) with the majority of businesses owned by Holtzbrinck and currently operating as part of Macmillan Science and Education (MSE), namely:

  • Nature Publishing Group and Palgrave Macmillan – leading providers of high quality journals, magazines, products and services for the research community and the wider general public. These include Nature (one of the most prestigious science publications), Scientific American (with more than 6m unique users) and Palgrave Macmillan (a prominent humanities and social sciences publisher);
  • The global businesses of Macmillan Education – comprising Macmillan Education Language Learning (the third largest global provider of English language publishing), Macmillan Education Schools (a local K12 publisher) and Palgrave, one of Macmillan Education’s higher education businesses, including the distribution rights outside the US for the Bedford, Freeman and Worth higher education titles. Together they serve customers in 50 markets and supply high-quality content and innovative digital products and services to customers in 120 countries around the world.

The Springer Science+Business Media portfolio includes, among others:

  • All of Springer’s scientific, technical and medical books and journals (which includes those published using open access under the BioMed Central, SpringerOpen and Springer Open Choice imprints as well as all German-language science products) and all archives and other quality content provided to academic and research institutions as well as corporate R&D departments via innovative information products and services;
  • Adis – a leading global provider of drug information on which healthcare professionals, researchers, decision-makers and drug developers alike rely;
  • Apress – a technical publisher providing high-quality, no-fluff content in print and electronic formats to meet the needs of IT professionals, software developers and programmers; and
  • All businesses in Springer’s Professional Publishing division, including, among others, Verlag Heinrich Vogel, Fuchsbriefe, Springer Automotive Media, Codes Rousseau, Etrasa and Bohn Stafleu van Loghum.

The following businesses will not be part of the merged company but will remain under 100% ownership of Holtzbrinck:

  • Macmillan Publishers, the global consumer books division of Holtzbrinck, including Holtzbrinck Deutsche Buchverlage and J.B. Metzler;
  • The Macmillan Education US higher education business (Bedford, Freeman, Worth);
    Holtzbrinck Ventures and Holtzbrinck Digital, Information and Services;
  • Macmillan New Ventures, Digital Science and Digital Education (the Macmillan Science and Education technology and software businesses).

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