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IFC invests $40 million in Grupo Ser Educacional to help expand postsecondary education in Brazil

IFC, São Paulo
Patricia Carvalho
Phone: (5511) 5185-6873


São Paulo, July 2, 2015 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced an investment of $40 million (equivalent to BRL 120 million) in Grupo Ser Educacional, one of the largest private education groups in Brazil and a leader in number of students in postsecondary education in the Northeast and North regions. IFC’s 7-year loan to Grupo Ser Educacional will support its expansion through the construction of two new campuses in the cities of Aracaju and Fortaleza, the renovation and modernization of the existing campus, as well as new acquisitions.

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. GER for the North and Northeast regions is even lower than that of Brazil, making access to postsecondary education an even higher priority matter for these regions, which concentrate 70% of the country’s poverty.  

This is IFC’s third investment in Grupo Ser Educacional. In 2013, IFC’ was an anchor investor in the group’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) at the Brazilian Stock Exchange. IFC’s approach in the education sector is to support companies with sufficient scale to deliver high-quality and affordable education.

According to Habib Bichara, Grupo Ser Educacional’s CFO, “IFC’s investment is an important step for Grupo Ser as it not only proves our capacity to grow organically and through acquisitions, but also attests our commitment to the sustainable development of our operations.”

“We are pleased to once again support Grupo Ser Educacional’s expansion. Investment in education is a strategic priority for IFC, as it is critical to helping build the skills and improve the productivity of a country’s workforce, and thus to promote its social and economic development”, said Carmen de Paula, IFC Principal Investment Officer of Manufacturing and Services in Brazil.

IFC is the largest multilateral investor in private education in emerging markets.  Over the past 15 years, IFC has invested $1.3 billion in education projects in 33 countries.  In fiscal year 2014, IFC’s investments improved quality of education for over 2.5 million students in developing countries.  Alongside investing in private institutions, IFC also supports providers of student finance. In the last five years, IFC has invested $200 million in education projects in Brazil.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit
About Grupo Ser Educacional

Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Recife, Grupo Ser Educacional (BM&FBOVESPA SEER3, Bloomberg SEER3:BZ and Reuters SEER3.SA) is one the largest private education groups in Brazil and a leader in the Northeast and North of Brazil in terms of number of enrolled students. It offers undergraduate, graduate, vocational and distance-learning courses and has 37 units spread through 25 cities in 12 states, with a combined base of 163,000 students. The Company operates under the Faculdades Maurício de Nassau, UNINASSAU – Centro Universitário Maurício de Nassau, Faculdades Joaquim Nabuco, Escolas Técnicas Joaquim Nabuco, Maurício de Nassau, FIT – Faculdades Integradas dos Tapajós, UnG (Universidade Guarulhos) and UNAMA (Universidade da Amazônia) brands, through which it offers more than 680 courses.

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