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Estacio, Holders Raising Up to 768.7 Million Reais in Share Sale

Estacio Participacoes SA, Brazil’s second-largest publicly traded university operator by revenue, is raising as much as 768.7 million reais ($377.6 million) in a share offering, according to a regulatory filing today.

Rio de Janeiro-based Estacio and its shareholders are selling as many as 14.7 million voting shares in a primary offering and 3.6 million shares in a secondary offering for 42 reais each. The company was planning to raise as much as 623 million reais in the share sale, according to a Dec. 3 prospectus.

Estacio rose 72 percent to 42.75 reais since 2010 as the number of student loans granted under the Education Ministry’s Fies program almost quadrupled to 366,566 by the end of last year. The benchmark Bovespa index slipped 1.5 percent in the same period.

“For-profit colleges are experiencing a very positive time in Brazil as student loans increased, and all the companies are taking advantage of this improvement in the situation to grow by acquisitions,” Fabricio Freitas, an analyst at the asset management firm Humaita Investimentos, said by phone from Sao Paulo. “Estacio’s offering had a very good demand because the sector is pretty attractive.”

Estacio, the first company to sell shares in Brazil this year, said in the prospectus that it plans to use the proceeds to pay for acquisitions and expansion.

Brazilian technology company Linx SA and its investors plan to sell shares worth as much as 459 million reais next month in the country’s first initial public offering in six months.

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