Springer Science Decides to Focus Exclusively on IPO Plan

Swedish buyout firm EQT Partners AB has opted to take Springer Science+Business Media AG public rather than sell it, the publisher said.

The company, which has become a German stock corporation in preparation for the initial public offering, will be listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange, Springer Science said in a statement today.

An IPO “is the natural next step for the company,” Springer Science Chief Executive Officer Derk Haank said in the statement. It “will help us to serve our customers and drive growth.”

The Berlin-based academic publisher, bought by EQT jointly with the Government of Singapore Investment Corp. in 2009, said earlier this month it plans to raise about 760 million euros ($1 billion) in an IPO and shares would start trading before the summer break.

Manfred Wennemer, a former CEO of Continental AG who has served as chairman on boards including Hochtief AG and was named to lead Sulzer AG’s in March, was elected chairman of the supervisory board, whose directors also include Bertelsmann AG CEO Thomas Rabe and EQT partner Marcus Brennecke.

Haank, Chief Operating Officer Martin Mos and Chief Financial Officer Ulrich Vest were named to the management board.

As recently as Wednesday, EQT was said to be leaning toward a sale of Springer Science to BC Partners Ltd. amid concern that an IPO wouldn’t fetch the desired amount, according to people familiar with the matter.

A spokesman for EQT declined to comment.