São Paulo, March 24, 2016 — IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, announced today an investment of $100
million to support the expansion of Estacio Participacoes, one of the largest
private education groups in Brazil. IFC’s loan will help expand access
to quality and affordable education for low- and middle-income students
throughout the country, especially in the North and Northeast Regions.
IFC’s investment is comprised of an eight-year
$50 million loan for IFC’s own account and a six-year $50 million loan
mobilized through Banco Santander. This is IFC’s third investment in Estacio
Participacoes, which is present in 22 Brazilian states and the Federal
District of Brasilia and has over 502,000 students enrolled. IFC’s approach
in the education sector is to support companies with scale to deliver quality
and affordable education.
Penetration of higher education in Brazil
is low by international standards. The country’s higher education Gross
Enrolment Ratio (GER) is about 32 percent, much lower than in other countries
in Latin America (GER for Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay, for instance,
is above 60%). Improving access to postsecondary education is critical
to increase Brazil's competitiveness and its ability to innovate, therefore
a strategic priority for IFC.
According to Rogério Melzi, Estacio CEO,
“the timing of IFC investment is very important, as Brazil needs to have
capable, productive and well-trained workforce to face the challenges that
lay ahead for the growth and development of the country. Once again, IFC
shows its confidence in Estacio’s long-term project, which started to
be designed in 2008. We continue to pursue our 2020 strategic planning
in spite of the uncertainties of the present context”.
“We are pleased to continue to support Estacio’s
growth, and help the company to expand the number of enrolled students
for low- and medium-income people in Brazil”, said Carmen de Paula, IFC
Principal Investment Officer of Manufacturing and Services in Brazil. “IFC
plays a counter-cyclical role by providing the necessary long-term financing
to a sector that is key for the long-term sustainable development of this
IFC has been investing in Brazil’s private
sector since 1956 to address the country’s most critical development challenges,
including those of the urbanization, social inclusion, competitiveness
and productivity, and management of natural resources. IFC is the largest
multilateral investor in private education in emerging markets. Over
the past 15 years, IFC has invested over $1.3 billion in education projects
in 35 countries. Since 2010, IFC has invested $288 million in education
projects in Brazil.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is
the largest global development institution focused on the private sector
in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
we use our capital, expertise, and influence, to create opportunity where
it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries
rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential
role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org
About Estacio Participacoes
Estacio is one of Brazil’s largest private-sector
post-secondary groups in terms of number of students enrolled. With highly
qualified teachers, advanced teaching methodologies, and well-equipped
facilities, we have over 502 thousand students enrolled in our undergraduate
and graduate courses through our distance learning and campus programs.
Our network consists of one university, seven university centers, 36 colleges
and 170 distance learning units recognized by the Ministry of Education
(MEC), with nationwide coverage, represented by 90 campuses in the leading
urban centers of 22 states and in Distrito Federal, strategically located
close to the homes and/or workplaces of our target public of middle- and
lower middle-income workers.