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IFC invests $100 million in Estacio to help expand access to quality and affordable postsecondary education in Brazil

IFC, São Paulo

Patricia Carvalho
Phone: (5511) 5185-6873

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 country.”

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.

About IFC
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

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.

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