Vitru Educação, the group that controls the Santa Catarina-based Uniasselvi, announced this Tuesday (24) the acquisition of Unicesumar, an education group from Maringá (PR), for the amount of R$ 3.2 billion.
The acquisition reinforces the group’s position in the dispute with Cogna (ex-Kroton), especially in distance learning. Vitru Educação has around 329 thousand distance education students in higher education. Paraná has 331,000 higher education students, the majority in the virtual modality.
The conclusion of the deal still depends on the approval of Cade (Administrative Council for Economic Defense).
The agreement involves the payment of 62.4% of Unicesumar’s market value as soon as the deal is closed, while 19.4% will be paid in Vitru Educação shares.
The negotiation makes UniCesumar shareholders hold 23.6% of Vitru, and the remaining 17.7% will be paid after the closing of the negotiation, with values adjusted by the IPCA accumulated in the period.
“What we are creating is a unique player, because they are the two that grow the most in distance learning,” says Pedro Graça, executive president of Vitru Educação. “We know the importance of this sector [EAD] and its competitiveness, we want to unite the best point of each company to provide better quality education”.
The movement also takes place in the administrative body. Former senator Wilson Matos Filho (PSDB-PR), who was the dean of UniCesumar, will step down and will be chancellor and vice president of the board of directors of Vitru, along with Graça.
Another point that attracted the purchase of UniCesumar by Vitru Educação was the expansion of Paraná in medical courses, one of the most expensive courses in higher education.
“We know that today in the area of higher education in Brazil the two major trends are distance learning and the health area”, says Carlos Freitas, financial director of Vitru. Over the next few years, the executives plan to open more than 4,000 teaching centers.
Movements in education
After a long dispute, in 2020 Ânima bought FMU and Anhembi Morumbi from Laureate, an American multinational that left the country. In the dispute for the operation, Ser Educacional was also present, which gave up its right to match competing proposals, taking only two assets for R$ 180 million: the Centro Universitário dos Guararapes and the Faculdade Internacional da Paraíba.
In June, Ser Educacional announced the acquisition of Fael (Faculdade Educacional da Lapa), which offers higher education courses 100% online, for R$ 280 million. The group plans more acquisitions to strengthen and expand its presence in regions where it is not so active, as well as in health courses, which concentrate almost half of Ser’s students. Another focus is EdTechs, technology companies for education —in 2020 , Ser bought Beduka.