Stuttgart-based Holtzbrinck Publishing will merge its Macmillan Science and Education unit with Berlin-based Springer Science & Business Media, which is owned by UK private equity firm BC Partners.
The Macmillan unit is known for publishing magazines like Nature as well as academic textbooks under the Palgrave Macmillan imprint.
The joint venture will see Holtzbrinck take a 53 per cent stake in the combined company, which will employ 13,000 people and have annual revenues of around €1.5bn (£1.14bn), with BC owning the rest.
BC Partners bought Springer, established in 1842, from Sweden’s EQT and Singapore’s GIC in June 2013 for €3.3bn. The Berlin-based company employs 8,500 people and sells €943m of publications a year.
Holtzbrinck’s Macmillan brand is slightly younger than its new partner, having formed a year later in 1843.
BC managing partner Ewald Walgenbach said: “This joint venture is a strategic milestone in the more than 150 year history of both businesses and shows how family businesses and private equity can work together and support businesses in positioning themselves for future growth.”