Estácio Moves forward in distance learning with R$ 615 million deal for Uniseb


Hello everyone,

Today I will be transcribing the headlines of one of the most prestigious business newspaper in Brazil, Valor Economico. 

Why this is relevant for a Danish company to know?

It illustrates some of the changes that are going in Brazil and that concrete. It’s not just empty talk, but things are actually happening, in many sectors. Danish companies can stand-out providing it’s high technological solutions, providing new platforms for language learning,etc.More over what you are about to read shows that:

  • The Brazilian educational system in Brazil is a business and it is professional;
  • The Brazilian educational system will go through tremendous changes of paradigms with new learning systems. This is something that will change behaviours and patterns in a near future;
  • More and more people will have access to knowledge and information; 
  • Huge inflows of foreign capital and national capital are being put in the sector

What happened…

One Brazilian educational group ( Estácio) has aquired another Brazilian educational group UniSeb from São Paulo, owned by the SEB group. This was the largest aquisition ever made by this group. Additionally this aquisition stood out in what regards the price paid per student ( 16.200 BRL), the highest price ever paid in an aquisition within the sector.The numbers are high given the high capilarity Uniseb has in distance learning.

With this aquisition Estacio confirms a stronger presence in the sector. Uniseb had already 153 authorized learning centers in operation and another 164 already authorized by the Ministry of Education .Estacio accounted with 52 learning centers and now Estacio has 369 learning centers in total.

The tricky but interesting thing about this aquisition is that, though Uniseb has a reduced number of students in it’s group ( 37.800) most of the students are in distance learning. According to Valor Economico “in a segment where fixed costs are smaller than of the presential method, the EBITDA margin of the group is high, reaching up to 44%”. “Uniseb finished last year with EBITDA of 47 million BRL, making the deal’s price 13 times the company’s adjusted EBITDA”.

This aquisition has helped Estacio to establish a stronger presence in São Paulo as well, given that the company is originally from Rio de Janeiro, and always found difficult to step into São Paulo due the high competition among other challenges.

Brief Overview of the sector and competition

Estácio´s aquisition happened shortly after the huge North American educational organization Laureate, announced the aquisition of another important Brazilian educational group, FMU. Also, back in March of 2013 two important Brazilian educational groups, Kroton and Anhanguera annouced a merger bringing forth an enormous worldwide educational group.

A few thoughts…

Education in Brazil progresses in leaps and bounds today. This evolution can only be natural, and is supported by a national effort made by the Brazilian government as well as private companies in acting in different spheres to promote more internet access, more mobile penetration,better education, etc.

Education in Brazil is becoming a professional Business. The Ministry of education claims that the Education sector in Brazil, is the 10th most important sector for the Brazilian Economy. Putting all the business aside, I believe that Brazil, could gain a lot by learning some teaching methodologies used in Denmark. Additionally, I would say even more, because it is not only the teaching methods but a whole mindset that is very different, and could bring a lot of contributions to Brazil. But that is another discussion…

Hope you have enjoyed this post.

Wait for our study on the Educational sector in Brazil, opportunities and challenges.

Do you have any comments, I’d love to hear them

Carlos Monteiro is a Brazilian citizen, graduated in Business Administration by the Catholic University of São Paulo. He lives in Odense, Denmark with his Danish Wife, Cathrine, and their half Danish /Brazilian daughter Ines Marie. You are very welcome to be in contact him at any time.
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