Estacio Participacoes SA announced the resignation of interim Chief Executive Officer Chaim Zaher, a top shareholder who has contemplated making his own bid for control of the for-profit education company even as it fields takeover offers from two rivals.
Zaher pledged in a letter to return to the board and help determine the best proposal for the future of the company, according to a filing Tuesday. He had become CEO on June 16 following the surprise departure of his predecessor, Rogerio Melzi.
Estacio agreed in principle last week to a $1.66 billion takeover offer by Kroton Educacional SA, spurning a rival bid from Ser Educacional SA. The Estacio board is scheduled to examine further details of the Kroton bid Friday, and Zaher’s letter sets the stage for a lively board meeting, since it shows he still has an interest in operating Estacio independently.
His brief tenure as CEO gave Zaher the chance to “verify the opportunities that are at the administration’s disposal to improve the results of the company,” he said in the letter. “With just a few measures identified and implemented in a matter of days, we can ensure the reduction of the company’s annual operating expenses and make possible the capture of internal synergies.”
Chief Financial Officer Pedro Thompson Landeira de Oliveira will temporarily assume Zaher’s duties while Estacio’s board searches for a replacement. Zaher recommended Chief Operating Officer Gilberto Teixeira de Castro for the job.