April 24 (Bloomberg) -- Abril Educacao SA, Brazil’s fourth-largest education company, and its shareholders are raising as much as 585.5 million reais ($291.3 million) in a units sale to help finance acquisitions.
The Sao Paulo-based company is selling 3.16 million units, each of which is comprised of one voting share and two preferred shares, for 45 reais each, according to information published on Brazil’s securities regulator website today. Shareholders are raising as much as 443.4 million reais in the offering.
Abril, which started as a textbook publisher and now offers primary, secondary and pre-university courses, plans to use the cash to “continue its acquisition process,” according to the prospectus. Abril bought English school Wise Up in February and Red Balloon in July.
Abril has gained 67 percent in the past year, while the Ibovespa stock benchmark dropped 11 percent. Demand for education services in Brazil is booming as a middle class that grew by 40 million people in the eight years through 2011 sees them as the path to better jobs and bigger paychecks.
Estacio Participacoes SA, the country’s second-largest publicly traded university operator by revenue, sold new shares on Jan. 23. Kroton Educational SA said on April 22 that it will buy Anhanguera Educacional SA for 5 billion reais to create the largest for-profit education company in the world.
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