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Brazilian Billionaire Emerges as Ser Educacional Surges

Janguie Diniz, the majority shareholder of Brazilian school operator Ser Educacional SA (SEER3), became a billionaire today as the company reached a record.

Diniz owns 70 percent of the Recife-based business, according to filings with Brazil’s stock exchange. His stake is valued at $1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He received about $50 million selling shares in the company’s initial public offering in October.

“The company is expanding in Brazil’s north and northeast regions, where the demand for higher education is stronger the average in Brazil,” said Bruno Giardino, analyst at Banco Santander Brasil SA, in a phone interview from Sao Paulo. “There’s an emerging middle class there that doesn’t have the conditions to get into the federal universities, so they’re going into the private institutions instead.”

Ser Educacional has soared 48 percent since its Oct. 25 IPO, the fifth-biggest gain on Brazil’s BM&FBovespa Small Cap Index. Its sales jumped 44 percent in the first quarter from a year ago to 155 million reais ($69 million), driven by a 51 percent increase in total number of students, which reached 113,000. The company said on May 19 that it bought Unespa and ISES schools with 12,200 students in the Brazilian state of Para, according to a regulatory filing.

The 50-year-old billionaire has never appeared on an international wealth ranking. A spokeswoman for Diniz said he wasn’t immediately available for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Blake Schmidt in Sao Paulo at bschmidt16@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Newcomb at pnewcomb2@bloomberg.net Matthew G. Miller

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