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Informa looking at Springer S+BM
Monday, 30th November 2009
Tim Buckley Owen
Informa – publisher of Lloyd’s List and owner of Datamonitor – is considering making a bid for the academic publisher Springer Science + Business Media. Following press speculation, Informa has issued a statement confirming that it is discussing a possible takeover with the shareholders and is currently carrying out due diligence.
However it goes on to say that there can be ‘no certainty’ agreement will be reached with the shareholders – principally two private equity firms Cinven and Candover – on terms that are acceptable to Informa’s board (http://digbig.com/5basaj). Meanwhile Reuters has reported analysts as saying that Informa will need another, much bigger, equity injection to fund any purchase, and describes the prospect as ‘risky but appealing’ (http://digbig.com/5basak).
The deal could create a ‘global giant’ with obvious synergies, Reuters comments, with one analyst saying that the vendors have few options and need to refinance the business. Informa itself has recently undergone significant upheaval to help it offset debts incurred partly as a result of its acquisition of Datamonitor (http://www.vivavip.com/go/e20022), but last year appears to have bucked the trend among business-to-business publishers by reporting ‘strong’ results for 2008 (http://www.vivavip.com/go/e16896).
Not to be confused with the German newspaper and magazine publisher Axel Springer (as paidContent:UK helpfully points out – http://digbig.com/5basam), Springer Science + Business Media describes itself as a ‘leading global scientific publisher’ (http://digbig.com/5basan). However it actually publishes around 100 journals in its economics and statistics portfolio as well, including titles such as Economic Theory, the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty and the International Journal of Game Theory (http://digbig.com/5basap).
Two of the analysts in the Reuters report comment that academic and scientific publishing is one of the more resilient revenue streams in these troubled times for publishing. Whether this would enable Informa to continue to escape the worst of the fate currently befalling the B2B market remains to be seen.
By Tim Buckley Owen
Tim is an information skills trainer and writer on the information industry with over 40 years' experience in the profession. His career has encompassed information management, writing, editing, training, government policy advice and corporate media & marketing.
Besides writing for FreePint, Tim runs courses for training providers and private clients on enquiry handling, abstracting & summarising, information packaging & presentation and information management. The sixth edition of his classic handbook Successful Enquiry Answering Every Time is published by Facet Publishing. You can find details of Tim's training services at www.buckleyowen.com.
Tim can also be reached at email@example.com
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