Brazil school chain Eleva, backed by billionaire Lemann, hires banks for IPO

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian school chain Eleva Educação SA, which runs a network of schools in the country, has hired investment banks to manage an initial public offering that would raise some 1.5 billion reais ($271.05 million), one source with knowledge of the matter said.

Morgan Stanley MS.N, Goldman Sachs GS.N and the investment banking unit of Itau Unibanco Holding SA ITUB4.SA were mandated to arrange the IPO of the education chain, the source said.

Eleva is backed by Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann, one of the three founders of private equity firm 3G Capital, a controlling shareholder of companies such as Anheuser Busch Inbev ABI.BR, Kraft Heinz Co KHC.O and Restaurant Brands International QSR.TO.

Besides Lemann, Eleva has among its shareholders private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC and Gera Capital, a Brazilian ESG-focused asset management firm.

The IPO would be mainly geared toward raising new capital to allow the company, which has more than 120 schools and 70,000 students, to expand further. Eleva’s investors may also use the IPO to sell a small stake in the company, the source said.

Reuters reported earlier that Eleva was seeking to raise $200 million in a new funding round. The source said it decided to explore an IPO given a recent boom in such deals in Brazil, but no final decision has been taken yet.

Eleva did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the matter.

Bloomberg reported earlier that Eleva was seeking $272 million in an IPO.

Reporting by Carolina Mandl, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Christian Plumb