OREANDA-NEWS. Global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) and Vinci Partners, an independent asset management firm in Brazil, announce that funds managed by both firms have signed last Friday, October 23rd, an agreement to acquire the stock of Uniasselvi, a subsidiary of the Kroton Educacional group.

Equity for the investment will come from Carlyle's South America Buyout Fund and Fundo Brasil de Internacionaliza??o de Empresas II FIP (FBIE), a local fund advised by Carlyle and Banco do Brasil. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the next several months. Additional financial terms were not disclosed.

Founded in 1997, Uniasselvi serves more than 100,000 students enrolled in its undergraduate and graduate programs. The company operates both distance learning format, in which it is the fourth largest player in Brazil with 48 centers across several Brazilian states; and on-campus education, with seven campuses in the state of Santa Catarina, where it is the largest higher education institution.

In addition to its academic quality (institution to offer a distance-learning program graded 5 by the Ministry of Education - MEC), Uniasselvi stands out for offering distance-learning programs that use a mixed format, whereby students combine online learning activities with live education, attending regular classes once a week in distance learning centers with the support of a professor-tutor.

"We're very excited to invest once again in the education sector, especially together with Carlyle. We'll work together to create a new major player in this sector," said Carlos Eduardo Martins, Vinci's partner in charge of the investment. He also highlighted that "the higher education sector should continue to expand over the years to come, as penetration in Brazil still lags that of other countries with the same development level."

Fernando Pinto, Carlyle's managing director responsible for the transaction at Carlyle, said: "Uniasselvi is Carlyle's first investment in education in Brazil. The company achieved a leadership position due to a clear value proposition for students to advance their education with flexibility and affordability." According to the executive, "It is a strategic asset with important competitive advantages."

Fernando Borges, co-head of Carlyle in Brazil, explains that the acquisition is part of Carlyle's growth strategy in the country. "We are looking for companies that can offer services that continue to be essential to Brazilians. We've spent years assessing opportunities in the education sector and we think this is the right time to invest in a sector that continues to present sound growth perspectives. The partnership with Vinci is an additional positive factor in this investment."