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Carlyle, KKR in Talks to Buy Stake in Abril Educação

12 February 2014

(Reuters) Abril Educação SA, a listed Brazilian education content company, is in talks to sell between a 20% and 25% ownership stake for upwards of US$187m. Suitors include The Carlyle Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

Brazilian education company Abril Educação SA is in talks with private equity funds Carlyle and KKR over the sale of a minority stake in the company for up to R$450m ($187.5m), newspaper Valor Economico said on Wednesday.

Other investors are interested in the 20-25 percent stake being offered, the newspaper reported, without naming all the potential buyers. Abril Educação plans to strike a deal in a few weeks, it added, citing a person with knowledge of the operation.

Spokespeople for Abril Educação, Carlyle and KKR were not immediately available to comment on the report.

Abrilpar Participações Ltda, the Brazilian media and publishing group that controls Abril Educação, hired investment banks Itaú BBA and Grupo BTG Pactual SA to help explore “potential strategic opportunities”, according to a securities filing on Tuesday.

The stake on offer is owned by the Civita family, which currently holds 45.9 percent of Abril Educação stock. The family asked for 45 reais per unit, the newspaper said, 58 percent more than Tuesday’s closing price at 28.50 reais.

Abril Educação units are comprised of one ordinary share and two preferred shares. The units are down 14.7 percent so far this year, underperforming Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa stock index, which is down 5.9 percent.

Brazil’s $11 billion-a-year education industry has grown at double-digit percentage rates in recent years as a tight job market demands a skilled labor force with better technical knowledge, stronger analytical abilities and proficiency in foreign languages.