April 16, 2019 / 6:58 PM / 6 months ago

Exclusive: Brazilian education group Afya plans New York IPO - sources

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian educational group Afya SA is preparing an initial public offering in New York in the coming months, three people with knowledge of the matter said, adding to a wave of listings by high-growth Latin American companies outside their home markets.

The for-profit education company, which specializes in medical courses, hired Goldman Sachs and the investment banking units of UBS Group AG, Itau Unibanco Holding SA and Bank of America Corp to manage the offering, the sources said on Tuesday.

Afya, which has been backed by Brazilian buyout firm Crescera Investimentos SA since 2016, has already filed confidential documents for an IPO with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, one source added.

Crescera declined to comment on the matter and Afya did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The sources did not disclose any details on the expected size of the IPO or how it would value the company.

Afya has 30,000 students and 1,000 teachers. Crescera acquired minority stakes in NRE Educacional, a medicine school, and MedCel, which offered preparatory courses for medical residencies, before merging them with the name Afya.

Afya’s expected IPO follows several fast-growing Latin American firms and tech startups that decided to list their shares in the United States due in part to a lack of comparable listings in their home markets.

Last year, payments processor Pagseguro Digital Ltd listed its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, while rival StoneCo Ltd and education company Arco Platform Ltd debuted on Nasdaq.

Reporting by Carolina Mandl and Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Brad Haynes and Leslie Adler

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