São Paulo, July 2, 2015 — IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, announced an investment of $40 million
(equivalent to BRL 120 million) in Grupo Ser Educacional, one of the largest
private education groups in Brazil and a leader in number of students in
postsecondary education in the Northeast and North regions. IFC’s 7-year
loan to Grupo Ser Educacional will support its expansion through the construction
of two new campuses in the cities of Aracaju and Fortaleza, the renovation
and modernization of the existing campus, as well as new acquisitions.
Penetration of higher education in Brazil is low by international standards.
The country’s higher education Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) is about 32
percent, much lower than in other countries in Latin America (GER for Argentina,
Chile, and Uruguay, for instance, is above 60%). Improving access to postsecondary
education is critical to increase Brazil's competitiveness and its ability
to innovate, therefore a strategic priority for IFC. GER for the North
and Northeast regions is even lower than that of Brazil, making access
to postsecondary education an even higher priority matter for these regions,
which concentrate 70% of the country’s poverty.
This is IFC’s third investment in Grupo Ser Educacional. In 2013, IFC’
was an anchor investor in the group’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) at
the Brazilian Stock Exchange. IFC’s approach in the education sector is
to support companies with sufficient scale to deliver high-quality and
According to Habib Bichara, Grupo Ser Educacional’s CFO, “IFC’s investment
is an important step for Grupo Ser as it not only proves our capacity to
grow organically and through acquisitions, but also attests our commitment
to the sustainable development of our operations.”
“We are pleased to once again support Grupo Ser Educacional’s expansion.
Investment in education is a strategic priority for IFC, as it is critical
to helping build the skills and improve the productivity of a country’s
workforce, and thus to promote its social and economic development”, said
Carmen de Paula, IFC Principal Investment Officer of Manufacturing and
Services in Brazil.
IFC is the largest multilateral investor in private education in emerging
markets. Over the past 15 years, IFC has invested $1.3 billion in
education projects in 33 countries. In fiscal year 2014, IFC’s investments
improved quality of education for over 2.5 million students in developing
countries. Alongside investing in private institutions, IFC also
supports providers of student finance. In the last five years, IFC has
invested $200 million in education projects in Brazil.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private
enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and
influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives
in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org
About Grupo Ser Educacional
Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Recife, Grupo Ser Educacional (BM&FBOVESPA
SEER3, Bloomberg SEER3:BZ and Reuters SEER3.SA) is one the largest private
education groups in Brazil and a leader in the Northeast and North of Brazil
in terms of number of enrolled students. It offers undergraduate, graduate,
vocational and distance-learning courses and has 37 units spread through
25 cities in 12 states, with a combined base of 163,000 students. The Company
operates under the Faculdades Maurício de Nassau, UNINASSAU – Centro Universitário
Maurício de Nassau, Faculdades Joaquim Nabuco, Escolas Técnicas Joaquim
Nabuco, Maurício de Nassau, FIT – Faculdades Integradas dos Tapajós, UnG
(Universidade Guarulhos) and UNAMA (Universidade da Amazônia) brands, through
which it offers more than 680 courses.