Publisher Springer Nature has confirmed it is exploring an IPO.
Reuters had reported "sources close to the matter” as saying the publisher had asked J P Morgan and Morgan Stanley to organize a potential €4-€5bn stock market listing next year.
A statement from the publisher has now confirmed: “Springer Nature, in tandem with its shareholders, is exploring an IPO as a possible way to best develop the business going forward and enable the eventual exit of its financial investors." It added: "These are very preliminary explorations and no decisions have been taken.”
Springer Nature is 53% owned by German publisher Holtzbrinck, with funds advised by BC Partners owning the remaining stake. Reuters reported that while BC Partners will sell some shares in the IPO, Holtzbrinck may buy some, and is aiming to keep a stake of over 40%. The proceeds of the IPO will be used to cut debt, currently standing at €3bn, Reuters said.
Springer Nature was created in 2015 by the merger of Springer Science+Business Media with the majority of Macmillan Science and Education. The publisher entered the top 10 in the Global Publishing Ranking 2017.