| RIO DE JANEIRO/SAO PAULO
RIO DE JANEIRO/SAO PAULO Aug 23 Anima Educação
SA, a Brazilian education company, hired investment banks Itaú
BBA and Bank of America Merrill Lynch to advise on an initial
public offering, two people with direct knowledge of the
situation said on Friday.
Anima, which owns three universities located in the cities
of Belo Horizonte and Santos, in southeastern Brazil, wants to
sell shares to investors to expand and strengthen its capital
position, said one of the sources, who declined to be identified
because the process is private. Anima was founded in 2003.
The company's decision to sell shares in an IPO coincides
with efforts by players in Brazil's thriving education sector to
bring in investors to help fund expansion and acquire smaller
rivals. Kroton Educacional SA and Abril Educação SA
are companies in the sector that have won over
investors amid President Dilma Rousseff's vow to work closely
with private companies to boost education coverage and quality.
Investors have seen such an association as a boon for
profits and the guarantee for moderate regulation amid a tumble
in the country's equity market this year. Shares of education
companies have gained about 7 percent this year, compared with a
13 percent drop in the benchmark Bovespa stock index.
Ser Educação, a unit of Abril, might also pursue an IPO
before the end of this quarter, sources with knowledge of the
situation told Thomson Reuters IFR earlier this month. According
to the report, the investment banking units of Grupo BTG Pactual
SA, Credit Suisse Group, Goldman Sachs
Group Inc and Banco Santander SA were hired to
manage the deal.
Itaú BBA is the investment-banking unit of Itaú Unibanco
Holding SA, Brazil's largest bank by market value.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch is the investment bank of Bank of
A Itaú spokesman declined to comment on the mandate. The
media offices of Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Anima did not
answer phone calls after working hours.