June 26, 2019 / 12:14 PM / 22 days ago

Brazil med school network Afya aims to raise $250 mln in U.S. IPO -sources

SAO PAULO, June 25 (Reuters) - Brazilian medical education group Afya SA hopes to raise at least $250 million in an initial public offering, three sources with knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday, the latest in a series of South American companies to seek U.S. listings.

The company's shares will trade on the Nasdaq in July, the sources added, requesting anonymity because discussions of the offering's size are still private.

Afya, which has been backed by Brazilian private equity firm Crescera Investimentos SA since 2016, intends to use the proceeds of the offering to acquire schools, enter new markets and develop products, according to a Monday filing, which did not mention the share offering size.

Besides raising funds to fuel Afya's growth, the company's partners intend to partially sell their stake in the educational group.

Afya, which has nearly 27,000 students, reported first-quarter net revenue of $37.1 million and net income of $12.7 million.

It will join the ranks of other listed Brazilian for-profit education companies such as Arco Platform Ltd, a seller of educational systems.

Afya will also become part of a wave of listings by high-growth Brazilian firms and tech startups in the United States, where it can take advantage of the large number of investors that specialize in fast-growing companies. That was the case of card processors StoneCo Ltd and PagSeguro Digital Ltd and Arco Platform.

Besides traditional graduation programs, Afya offers continuing medical education through digital and physical channels.

Investment banking units of Bank of America Corp, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, UBS Group AG, Banco BTG Pactual SA, XP Investimentos SA and Morgan Stanley will manage the share offering.

Plans for IPO were first reported by Reuters in April.

Afya did not immediately comment on the matter.

Reporting by Carolina Mandl; Editing by Christian Plumb and Steve Orlofsky

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