LONDON Oct 5 Private equity firms EQT and GIC
Special Investments of Singapore are considering options to
either sell or refinance the debt of their German academic book
publisher Springer Science & Business Media, banking sources
said on Thursday.
EQT and GIC acquired Springer Science & Business Media in
2009 for 2.3 billion euros ($3 billion) from Candover and
Cinven, backed by 1.72 billion euros of debt, according to
Thomson Reuters LPC data.
They are now in the early stages of considering options on
whether to sell the company or conduct a dividend
recapitalisation to refinance the debt and take a payment from
EQT declined to comment. GIC was not immediately available
Bankers have been approaching lenders to Springer to gauge
what support there is for either a sale or dividend
"Bankers are pitching potential structures to lenders to
sound out lender appetite," a banker said.
The company has performed well and earnings before interest,
tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) have risen to around
330 million euros, bankers said, from 310 million in 2011,
which was quoted on EQT's website.
Although there is no urgency for the company to do anything
as its debt does not mature until between 2015 and 2017,
conditions in Europe's leveraged loan market are such that it
could be good time to do an opportunistic deal.
There have been a number of such deals recently as banks and
private equity firms seek to make money and take advantage of
stronger market conditions, after a lack of deal activity over
the summer, including dividend recapitalisations by the RAC and
Springer Science & Business Media is the world's second-
largest publisher of scientific research journals in science,
technology and medicine and is the largest publisher of books in
the field, according to EQT.
The group has almost 6,200 employees across 25 countries and
publishes around 2,000 journals and more than 7,000 books a
year, according to the company's website.