Holtzbrinck Publishing Group

Company Information & Key Figures


The Holtzbrinck Publishing Group is a family-owned company headquartered in Germany. The group’s portfolio is organized in the following business areas: its trade publishing division Macmillan Publishers, the US Higher Education division Macmillan Learning, its digital segment Holtzbrinck Digital, Information and Services; and the joint venture Springer Nature active in research, educational and professional publishing.

In January 2015, the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group and BC Partners agreed to merge the majority of Macmillan Science and Education, Holtzbrinck’s former Science and Education division, with the entirety of Springer Science + Business Media. The merger was completed in May 2015, and the new company, of which Holtzbrinck holds a majority of 53%, is called Springer Nature. Springer Nature is now one of the world’s leading global research, educational and professional publishers.

Holtzbrinck’s trade publishing activities focus on the German, UK and US market, and include a large number of imprints, notably in Germany S. Fischer, Rowohlt, Kiepenheuer & Witsch and Verlagsgruppe Droemer Knaur, in the UK Pan Macmillan, and in the US Macmillan, St. Martin’s Press, Henry Holt, and Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The Higher Education division includes notably the imprints W.H. Freeman, Bedford and Worth Publishers, as well as digital and adaptive learning offerings such as Sapling Learning, iClicker, Skyfactor and Intellus.

1. General information201720162015
Corporate name of mother companyVerlagsgruppe Georg von HoltzbrinckVerlagsgruppe Georg von HoltzbrinckVerlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck
Corporate headquarter (country)GermanyGermanyGermany
Corporate headquarter (city)StuttgartStuttgartStuttgart
Legal status of the groupprivately owned by Holtzbrinck familyprivately owned by Holtzbrinck familyprivately owned by Holtzbrinck family
Key personnel
(Chairperson, CEO, publisher, et al. – name,
Stefan von Holtzbrinck (CEO), John Sargent (CEO
Macmillan), Jens Schwanewedel (Group
Stefan von Holtzbrinck (CEO), John Sargent (CEO
Macmillan), Jens Schwanewedel (Group
Stefan von Holtzbrinck (CEO), John Sargent (CEO
Macmillan), Jens Schwanewedel (Group
Website (mother company / holding)www.holtzbrinck.comwww.holtzbrinck.comwww.holtzbrinck.com
2. Financial information201720162015
Source for financial informationCompany informationCompany informationCompany information
Consolidated yes/noyesyesyes
Currency for financial informationmEURmEURmEUR
Total revenues
Corporate (million)
1,428 (*)1,2231,427 (*)
EBITDA corporate (million)137 (*)109 (*)131 (*)
Total revenues
from publishing (million)
1,174 (*)1,1611,128 (*)
Net profits / EBIT / EBITDA
from publishing (million)
Share of revenues from digital (%)23%23%n.a.
Notes(*) w/o 53% Springer Nature(*) Including equity income share of JV Springer
Preliminary numbers. (*) Numbers exclude
Publishing divisions201720162015
Division 01: NameMacmillan PublishersMacmillan PublishersMacmillan Publishers
Main sector of activitiesTradeTradeTrade
Revenues Publishing917902850
Division 02: NameMacmillan LearningMacmillan LearningMacmillan Science and Education
Main sector of activitiesHigher EducationHigher EducationHigher Education
Revenues Publishing257259278
3. Activity & portfolio201720162015
Main regions of activities & break down of
revenue (%)
Incl. Springer Nature and DIE ZEIT: 36% North
America, 23% Germany, 7% UK, 14% Rest of Europe,
10% Asia, 4% Latin America, 6% other regions.
59% North America, 21% Germany, 9% UK, 6% Other
Europe, 5% other regions.
52% North America, 20% Germany, 8% Other Europe, 8%
UK, 12% other regions


Analysis & Key Developments


Financials include only the equity income share of joint venture Springer Nature. 2015 numbers are not comparable to previous years due to changes in the portfolio.

Revenues from trade publishing have increased steadily over the past years, while education was flat in the same period. Gains were led by turnover in the English language markets, while the group’s German imprints were flat. Breakout numbers on profitability have not made available by the company.

Internal organization


In January 2015, Holtzbrinck Publishing Group and BC Partners agreed to merge Springer Science + Business Media in its entirety with the majority of Macmillan Science and Education, namely Nature Publishing Group, Palgrave Macmillan and the global businesses of Macmillan Education. The merger was completed in May 2015, and the new company is called Springer Nature. Its turnover had been estimated at 1.5bn EUR with 13,000 people employed.

The group is under joint control of Holtzbrinck and funds advised by BCP with Holtzbrinck retaining a majority share of 53%. The management board is composed of six members: Daniel Ropers (Chief Executive Officer), Steven Inchcoombe (Chief Publishing Officer), Rachel Jacobs (Chief Legal Officer), Martin Mos (Chief Operating Officer), Frank Vrancken Peeters (Chief Commercial Officer) and Ulrich Vest (Chief Financial Officer).In November 2015, Macmillan Publishers announced that Don Weisberg was named President of Macmillan Publishers US. He reports to Macmillan CEO John Sargent. (PW 19.11.2016)


  • In January 2017, Macmillan Learning acquired the educational platform Intellus Learning.
  • January 2016: The US-based educational publisher Macmillan Learning announced it has acquired Roberts and Company, publisher of higher education textbooks, interactive media, and original monographs in biology, chemistry, engineering and related disciplines. (PL 11.01.2016)
  • In April 2016, Macmillan Learning acquired WriterKEY. (PW 28.07.2016)
  • In May 2016, Macmillan US acquired self-publishing and analytics platform Pronoun. (BS 26.05.2016)


By territory, Holtzbrinck (incl. SpingerNature) generated in fiscal 2017 36% of revenue in North America, 23% in Germany, 7% in the UK, 14% in Other Europe, 10% in Asia, 4% in Latin America and 6% in other regions.


E-Publishing: For its digital initiatives in Germany, and focusing on digital product development, Holtzbrinck has launched a separate organization, Holtzbrinck ePublishing, in fall 2016, led by Josef Röckl, managing director of the trade publishing house Droemer Knaur, who will oversee both operations.


In early 2018, „Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House“ by Michael Wolf at once became „the most coveted read in the world right now“, published by Henry Holt, an imprint of Macmillan in the Holtzbrinck publishing group which had acquired world rights for the title. (Handelsblatt, 09.01.2018)

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