Springer published 2,400 English-language scientific and professional journals and more than 9,000 new books in 2014, with subjects ranging from science, technology and medicine to business and transportation. The company has 170,000 e-books available online, including the Springer Book Archives.
Springer has offices in 25 countries worldwide, with an especially strong presence in Germany and the Netherlands. Other countries include Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, France, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the UK and the USA.
Springer was founded as a bookshop in 1842 in Berlin, and the publishing company quickly followed. An office in Vienna followed in 1924, with another in New York in 1964 and more soon after in Tokyo, London, Paris and Hong Kong.
In 1999, Bertelsmann acquired a majority share in Springer-Verlag. In 2003, the British financial investors Cinven and Candover acquired Kluwer Academic Publishers (KAP) and Bertelsmann Springer, which were merged in 2004.
In October 2008, Springer announced the acquisition of BioMed Central, a pioneering open access publisher, making Springer the world’s largest open access publisher.
In 2009, Springer was sold to EQT, a Swedish financial investor, and GIC, the investment vehicle of the government of Singapore.
Springer Science+Business Media merged with the majority of Macmillan Science and Education in May 2015. The new company is called Springer Nature.
Analysis & Key Developments
Springer’s turnover rose from 943 million EUR in 2013 to 959 million EUR in 2013.
Change in ownership
In January 2015, Holtzbrinck Publishing Group and BC Partners agreed to merge Springer Science+Business Media with the majority of Macmillan Science and Education, including Nature Publishing Group, Palgrave Macmillan and the global businesses of Macmillan Education. Springer Nature’s turnover is estimated at 1.5 billion EUR with 13,000 people employed, making the company the fourth largest STM and education publisher. Holtzbrinck retains a 53% share. Springer’s CEO Derk Haank will serve as CEO, and Annette Thomas, former CEO of Macmillan Science and Education, will take the role as chief scientific officer.
Springer’s former ownership change was completed in fiscal 2013. London-based buyout house BC Partners bought Springer from its private equity owners EQT, the private equity arm of Sweden’s Wallenberg family, and GIC for 3.3 billion EUR including debt. EQT and GIC, which will keep a minority stake in Springer, said EBITDA has grown 12.6% annually to 341 million EUR in 2012.
In January 2014, Springer acquired French driving school publisher Planète Permis SAS, which is based near Strasbourg.
Revenues from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland account for 28%, with 24% from the rest of Europe, 24% from North America, 17% from Asia Pacific, 3% from Latin America, and 4% from the rest of the world.
Digital sales account for 71,7% of revenue from STM content, down from 75% in 2013.
SpringerLink is an Internet science database, with more than 8 million documents, an e-book collection of more than 160,000, journal archives digitized back to the first issues in the 1840s, and more than 30,000 Protocols and 290 Reference Works. Springer offers more than 420 open access journals.