Wird Springer von Informa gekauft?

Der nächste Gigant am STM-Medienhimmel?

Ann Okerson berichtet unter dem Titel Informa-Springer in talks in lib-license über „Gespräche zwischen Informa und Springer. Bereits Anfang April war über eine solche Partnerschaft diskutiert worden. Informa war erst 2004 mit Taylor & Francis (Aufkäufe: Haworth, Routledge, Marcel Dekker) zusammengekommen.

Der neue Gigant würde ca. 2.200 Zeitschriften haben und damit – zumindest zahlenmässig – mit Elsevier gleichziehen.

Ann zitiert aus den Financial Times und dem Guardian:

Informa shares sink on news of Springer talks

Informa shares are down sharply this morning after the media
company confirmed it is in talks to buy private-equity held
Springer Science and Business.

Candover and Cinven have been looking to offload the German
academic publisher or at least part of it, initially giving the
debt-ridden business a valuation of around Euros 1BN. Informa,
the publisher of Lloyd’s List, has now confirmed a report in the
Financial Times that it is in discussions with Springer’s shareholders
about acquiring the company.

It says in a statement to the stock exchange:

„Informa has been given access to due diligence materials to
enable it to be in a position to make a formal proposal to the
shareholders. There can be no certainty agreement will be reached with
the shareholders on terms that are acceptable to the board of Informa.

„Combining Springer and Informa would bring together two highly
respected and profitable academic publishers that would be
positioned to take advantage of the opportunities in their core
fields of Scientific, Technical and Medical (STM), and Humanities and
Social Sciences (HSS), respectively. On the right terms, an
acquisition of Springer would be an important strategic step for
lnforma and one that would be expected to generate significant value
for Informa shareholders.“

The publishing and conference group added that a tie-up would be
expected to „generate significant synergy benefits from
rationalisation of the combined cost base plus improved marketing and
operating efficiencies.“ Because the Springer business has strong cash
generation it would enhance Informa’s cash and earnings visibility,
the company added.

The market was not so sure about all those benefits, however, and
shares in Informa were down at 10.30am.

And despite reports Springer was now looking like it could go for much
less than its owners had orginally hoped – initial offers are said to
have come in at around Euros 400M – there were still questions over
whether Informa could come up with the funds. Analyst Gareth Davies at
Investec predicts only limited anti-trust issues and says a deal would
make strategic sense by „combining two strong academic publishing

But he also comments:

At a potentially attractive price, we think this is a deal
Informa management have to consider given potential synergies and
quality of asset.

…That said, given gearing at Springer Media in combination with
Informa’s existing debt, financing looks to be a stretch.

Nachtrag 3.12.09: Informa hat die Gespräche abgebrochen. Springer hat 2,1 Mia. Schulden. „Numis analyst Lorna Tilbian comments echo those of analysts last week who said that while a merger of the two publishers made strategic and financial sense market concerns over financing and increased debt would weigh on the stock in the shortterm.“