Education giants make competing offers for Estacio

Two of Brazil’s biggest education companies are facing off in a quest to merge with Estacio Participacoes SA, the country’s second-largest for-profit firm in the sector, write Sabrina Valle and Fabiola Moura for Bloomberg.

Ser Educacional SA sent a non-binding proposal to combine with Estacio, a deal that would create the largest education group focused on in-person private higher education in Brazil, the company said in a corporate filing. The offer came two days after the country’s biggest education operator, Kroton Educacional SA, announced its interest in acquiring Estacio for BRL3.48 billion (US$1 billion) in stock. Estacio and Kroton shares surged after the announcement.

Brazilian education companies are looking at consolidation as government cutbacks threaten a key source of financing for students, which has weighed on stock prices.
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