* Distance learning company expands Brazil reach
* Maxiprint purchase follows Abril Educacao’s July IPO
* Purchase follows Livemocha language stake in September
RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Abril Educacao ABRE11.SA, a Brazilian education services company, has agreed to buy Maxiprint Grafica e Editora, a childhood- and adult-education content provider, for 43 million reais ($22.9 million), expanding its reach two months after an initial public offering.
The purchase increases Sao Paulo-based Abril Educacao’s distance-learning coverage to 85,000 students in 343 schools that use the Sistema Maxi system in Brazil, the company said on Saturday in a filing with the CVM, Brazil’s security and exchange regulator.
In July, Abril Educacao raised $240 million in an IPO, part of efforts to pay for expansion in a distance-learning market estimated to be worth as much as $30 billion a year in Brazil. [ID:nN1E783081]
Brazil’s government, seeking to reduce years of poor primary and technical education and prepare workers for an economy expanding at its fastest rates in decades, is turning more and more to Internet-based learning systems to reach students throughout the country.
On Sept. 5, Abril Educacao Chief Executive Officer Manoel Amorim said his company agreed to buy 5.9 percent of Livemocha, a Seattle, Washington-based website that calls itself the world’s largest online language learning community. No price for the purchase was given.
On Friday, Abril Educacao stock rose 0.96 percent to 19.94 reais, its highest-ever close.
Since it first traded July 26, Abril Educacao has gained 7.8 percent. Brazil's benchmark Bovespa index .BVSP of the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange has lost 11.8 percent in the same period. (Reporting by Jeb Blount; Editing by Eric Beech)