Springer and Macmillan announce merger

"Strategic transaction" to create publishing group with turnover of about €1.5 billion, combining majority of Macmillan Science and Education with Springer Science+Business Media.

Holtzbrinck Publishing Group and BC Partners have announced an agreement to merge the majority of Holtzbrinck-owned Macmillan Science and Education (specifically, Nature Publishing Group, Palgrave Macmillan and the global businesses of Macmillan Education) with Springer Science+Business Media (which is owned by funds advised by BC Partners).

The joint venture will create a publishing group with a turnover of about €1.5 billion and 13,000 employees.

In a statement, the partners describe the merger as a “strategic transaction … aimed at securing the long-term growth of both businesses. It will create a leading global science and education publishing house with the opportunity to better serve its authors, the research community, academic institutions, learned societies and corporate research departments”

On completion of the transaction, the new group will be under joint control of Holtzbrinck and funds advised by BCP, with Holtzbrinck retaining a 53% share.

Springer CEO Derk Haank will be CEO of the new company, with Annette Thomas (currently CEO of Macmillan Science and Education) taking on the role of Chief Scientific Officer. Springer’s Martin Mos and Ulrich Vest will also join the management board.

“Combined, these two companies, both deeply rooted in a strong publishing tradition, offer breadth, volume and reach,” said Derk Haank. “Together, we will be able to offer authors and contributors more publishing opportunities and institutional libraries and individual buyers will have more choice.”

Not included in the merger, and remaining under 100% ownership of Holtzbrinck, are Macmillan New Ventures, Digital Science and Digital Education (the Macmillan Science and Education technology and software businesses); Macmillan Publishers (the global consumer books division of Holtzbrinck); the Macmillan Education US higher education business (Bedford, Freeman, Worth); Holtzbrinck Ventures and Holtzbrinck Digital, Information and Services.

Further details regarding the joint venture’s organisational structure will be disclosed once the businesses are combined. The transaction is subject to approval by various competition authorities, which is expected during the first half of 2015.