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BC Said to Make Sole Bid for Springer Science as EQT Weighs Exit

BC Partners Ltd., the London-based buyout firm, is the sole bidder to hand in an offer for German academic publisher Springer Science & Business Media GmbH as owner EQT Partners AB weighs whether to sell the company or take it public, three people familiar with the matter said.

BC Partners made a bid of more than 3 billion euros ($4 billion) while KKR & Co. and Providence Equity Partners dropped out ahead of a June 10 deadline, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified as talks are private. Swedish buyout firm EQT may decide by the end of the week whether to sell or conduct an initial public offering, one of the people said.

Springer Science said June 5 that it plans to raise about 760 million euros in an IPO and shares would start trading in Frankfurt before the summer break, according to a statement that day. Still, EQT was accepting takeover offers and may scrap the share sale, people familiar with the matter have said.

Springer Science+Business Media Deutschland GmbH, based in Berlin, has said it will be converted into Springer Science+Business Media AG before the listing.

Spokeswomen for KKR, Springer Science and BC Partners declined to comment, and spokesmen for EQT and Providence couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

The Stockholm-based buyout firm, which bought the company jointly with the Government of Singapore Investment Corp. in 2009, is seeking offers of 3 billion euros to 4 billion euros, people familiar with the matter said in January.

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