Macmillan Science and Education agrees merger with Springer

springer2In  press release Holtzbrinck Publishing Group (Holtzbrinck) and BC Partners (BCP) holtzbrinckannounced today that they have reached an agreement to merge Springer Science+Business Media (owned by funds advised by BCP) in its entirety with the majority of Holtzbrinck-owned Macmillan Science and Education (MSE), namely Nature Publishing Group, Palgrave Macmillan and the global businesses of Macmillan Education.

This is a strategic transaction by Holtzbrinck and BCP 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, as well as to extend its reach within the education and learning markets. Both companies have a highly complementary portfolio in terms of products (journals, books, databases and workflow tools) and end-markets (academic institutions, corporate research departments and individuals). The merged businesses will continue to offer the leading brands on which researchers, teachers and information professionals rely.

Upon 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.

The management board of the new company will be composed of four members: Derk Haank (Chief Executive Officer), Annette Thomas (Chief Scientific Officer), Martin Mos (Chief Operating Officer) and Ulrich Vest (Chief Financial Officer).

The supervisory board will be composed of Stefan von Holtzbrinck (Chairman/Holtzbrinck), Ewald Walgenbach (Vice-Chairman/BCP), Michael Brockhaus (Holtzbrinck), Hans Haderer (BCP), Christian Mogge (BCP) and Jens Schwanewedel (Holtzbrinck).

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, and this is expected during the first half of 2015.

Details of the agreement

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; andAll 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).

About Holtzbrinck Publishing Group and Macmillan Science and Education

Holtzbrinck Publishing Group ( is a second generation family owned publishing group, founded by Georg von Holtzbrinck. Now a global media company, it consists of Macmillan Science and Education, Macmillan Publishers (fiction and non-fiction trade books in English and German language) and Holtzbrinck Digital, Information and Services (internet companies, news media and services).

Macmillan Science and Education ( houses brands that date back to 1843 (Macmillan), 1845 (Scientific American) and 1869 (Nature). It has more than 5,700 employees in more than 50 markets and supplies high-quality content and innovative digital products and services to customers in 120 countries around the world. It unites all Macmillan’s science, scholarly and education businesses across the globe.

About Springer Science+Business Media 

Springer Science+Business Media ( was established in 1842 and is a leading global scientific, technical and medical publisher, providing researchers in academia, scientific institutions and corporate R&D departments with quality content via innovative information products and services. Springer is also a trusted local-language publisher in Europe – especially in Germany and the Netherlands – primarily for physicians and professionals working in healthcare and road safety education. Springer publishes English-language science journals and books across all science disciplines. Springer is home to BioMed Central, one of the leading publishers using open access, a publishing model that has been fully embraced by Springer since the inception of the company in early 2004. Springer also has one of the most significant STM eBook collections and archives, as well as a comprehensive portfolio of open access journals. In 2013, Springer Science+Business Media generated sales of approximately EUR 943 million. The group employs more than 8,500 individuals across the globe.

NOTE: Springer Science+Business Media is not in any way connected to Axel Springer SE or the Springer Publishing Company. Further information can be found here:

About BC Partners

Founded in 1986 as one of the few truly pan-European buy-out investors, BC Partners ( has grown and evolved into a leader in buy-outs, principally investing in larger businesses in the region and selectively in North America through its established network of offices in London, Hamburg, Paris  and New York. BC Partners continues to identify attractive investment opportunities by focusing on the best balance of risk and reward for its investors and is currently advising funds totaling over €12 billion. Since inception, BC Partners has completed 85 acquisitions with a total enterprise value of €88 billion and has delivered superior returns through economic cycles, demonstrating discipline in bull markets and an ability to invest in attractive opportunities amidst turbulence and recession.

For the full press release click Holtzbrinck and Deal fact sheet

For comment on the deal read The FT