TPG pulls out of Springer race

US private equity firm TPG has withdrawn its interest in purchasing a minority stake in German academic publisher Springer Science and Business Media.

This leaves EQT and a consortium of Carlyle Group and Providence in the running for a 49% interest in the company, valued at between €400m and €500m.

In July, vendors Carlyle and Cinven asked form bids to be resubmitted after they fell short of their €500m valuation, with some coming in at under €400m.

Apax Partners was also linked with the company, but dropped out in June.

Candover and Cinven formed Springer in 2003 through the merger of BertelsmannSpringer with Kluwer Academic Publishing. Springer plans to use the money raised from the sale to meet debt repayments on its €3.08bn leveraged loan, which stood at €810m when the deal was originally put together, but was bloated to its current size following three recapitalisations of the business which saw Candover and Cinven pay themselves large dividends as they took advantage of debt market conditions.