Private equity-backed Uniasselvi takes first steps towards potential $1bn IPO – report

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Private equity-backed distance learning business Uniasselvi has reportedly hired investment banks to manage its initial public offering, with hopes of hitting a $1bn valuation.

The Brazilian company, which is backed by Carlyle, Neuberger Berman and Vinci Partners, has hired Goldman Sachs & Co, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America to manage the IPO, three sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The company is mainly looking to raise capital for expansion, one of the people added.

Carlyle agreed to buy the college for BRL1.1bn ($282m) from Brazilian educational group Kroton, in partnership with Vinci Partners in 2015.

The buyout firm financed the deal through its South America Buyout Fund and Fundo Brasil de Internacionalização de Empresas II FIP, a local fund advised by Carlyle and Banco do Brasil.

In 2018, Neuberger acquired a 25 per cent stake in Uniasselvi in a partial exit for Carlyle and Vinci.

The business was founded in 1997 and reached 200,000 students in distance learning as of 2019.

Uniasselvi is one of the largest higher education institutions in Brazil with more than 200 undergraduate and graduate courses, according to its website.

The company operates more than 500 distance learning centres across the country as well as 10 on-site teaching facilities in Santa Catarina and Mato Grosso.

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