The Financial Times reported the news on Sunday, citing unnamed people familiar with the situation.
EQT has taken the decision to delay the sale until Springer had delivered on targets and had better visibility on 2014, the report said, adding that a sale could be revived in the second half of the year.
EQT was hoping to fetch about €4bn for the publisher and began sounding out potential buyers for the business in November last year. An IPO in April 2013 was also explored as an option.
Private equity firms KKR, Carlyle, Providence Equity Partners and German media giant Bertelsmann have also expressed an interest in buying the company according to previous reports.
Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan were mandated to prepare for an initial public offering and potential sale, while Zurich-based Lilja & Co has also been hired as IPO adviser.
Previous reports said the company made about £250m of profit in 2011.
EQT Partners and GIC Special Investments bought Springer Science for about €2.3bn in December 2009 from buyout firms Candover and Cinven, following months of bidding by rival parties.
EQT took an 82 per cent stake in the business, while GIC bought the remaining interest.
Springer was formed through the merger of Kluwer Academic Publishers and BertelsmannSpringer.
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