FRANKFURT, April 23 Five private equity groups
are set to bid for Springer Science+Business Media,
owned by private equity firm EQT and sovereign wealth fund GIC,
several people close to the process told Reuters.
While EQT and GIC are hoping to reap as much as 4 billion
euros ($5.2 billion) for the German speciality publisher of
scientific journals, the prospective buyers are unlikely to
offer much more than a price tag of slightly over 3 billion
euros, the sources said.
Those due to hand in bids later this week are Carlyle
, Providence, BC Partners, KKR and
Hellman & Friedman, the sources said, adding second-round bids
are due in June.
EQT and Carlyle, BC Partners, KKR declined to comment. GIC -
the investment vehicle of the government of Singapore -
Providence and Hellman & Friedman were not immediately available
German media group Bertelsmann has already said it
was not considering buying Springer Science. No other strategic
bidders emerged, the sources said.
Springer Science's owners are simultaneously still working
on the preparations for an initial public offering (IPO), which
would likely take place early July if the sellers conclude they
would reap a higher price in a listing than in an outright sale.
EQT and GIC bought Springer Science in 2009 for 2.3 billion