Providence and Hellman & Friedman are also ready to make offers for the German publishing businesses later this week according to Reuters, which cited several people close to the process.
EQT, which picked up the company alongside Singapore sovereign investor GIC for €2.3bn in 2009, was previously reported to be seeking between €3bn and €4bn for the business.
The firm is also working on a potential IPO for the business which could take place in July if it can make more cash than a sale, Reuters added.
Nordic buyout house EQT is reportedly gearing up to raise a €1bn mid-market fund targeting Europe and Asia in the wake of its successful infrastructure fund close earlier this year.
The Sweden-based firm has merged its European ‘expansion capital’ department with its Asian investment team under co-founder and deputy chief executive Jan Stahlberg ahead of the fundraise.
That news followed the firm poaching the managing director of Morgan Stanley’s European leveraged finance and acquisition finance team, James Yu, earlier in March.
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