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The Carlyle Group & Vinci Partners Jointly Acquire Brazilian Education Company Uniasselvi

29 February 2016

(Press Release) The Carlyle Group and Vinci Partners have jointly acquired Uniasselvi, a Brazilian education platform.

On March 1, control of Uniasselvi, which previously was owned by the group Kroton Educacional, will be transferred to funds managed by Carlyle and Vinci.

The proceeds for the investment came from funds managed by Carlyle South America Buyout Fund and Fundo Brasil de Internacionalização de Empresas II FIP (FBIE II), a local fund advised by Carlyle and Banco do Brasil, and from Vinci Capital Partners II, of Vinci Partners. No additional financial conditions were disclosed.

Founded in 1997, Uniasselvi has more than 112,000 students enrolled in its undergraduate and graduate programs. The company operates in the distance-learning education segment, where it is the fourth largest player in Brazil, with 48 centers in various states, and in the on-campus education segment, with seven campuses located in the state of Santa Catarina, where it is the largest institution of higher learning.

In addition to academic quality (the institution offers the only two distance-learning undergraduate programs to have received a top score of 5 from the Ministry of Education), Uniasselvi is recognized for its operations in the undergraduate distance learning segment using a blended format, in which students learn through both online and on-campus activities, the latter conducted once a week in classrooms located at the distance-learning centers with the support of a tutor-professor.

Fernando Borges, co-head of Carlyle South America Buyout Fund, explains that the acquisition is part of Carlyle’s growth strategy in Brazil. “We seek out companies that have the capacity to offer services that remain essential to Brazilians. This is Carlyle’s first investment in Brazil’s education industry, whose fundamentals remain promising. The partnership with Vinci is another positive aspect of the investment.”

According to Edson Peli, the member of the Carlyle South America Buyout Fund responsible for the investment, “Uniasselvi is a strategic asset in Brazil’s post-secondary education sector with important competitive advantages, such as a unique blended academic model, brand strength, seasoned management team and significant potential for growth and value creation.”

“We aim to create a new player in the industry. We’re very excited with our partnership with Carlyle and will work together to achieve this goal,” said Carlos Eduardo Martins, the partner at Vinci responsible for the investment. Martins also emphasized that, “the education industry will continue to grow in the coming years, with penetration in Brazil below that of other countries in similar development stages.”