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Abril | Acquisitions in Education


Source: Brasil Econômico

Abril Education buys Motivo group for R$ 103 million

According to Abril, the acquisition of Motivo High School will add 2,800 students to Abril Education, in addition to the 5,100 expected from the Sigma deal.

Abril Education announced on Friday — July 5 — that it was purchasing an education group in Recife for nearly R$ 103 million, broadening its activities in childhood education.

The acquisition of the Motivo High School, Park Carapuceiro Serviços and the Recife Education Center, all located in the Boa Viagem district of Pernambuco’s capital city, came after the July 5 announcement that Abril would acquire Educacional Sigma, in  Brasília, for R$ 130 milhões.

The company says that  Motivo will add 2,800 students to the base of  Abril Education, along with 5,100 expected from the deal with Sigma.

With its recent acquisitions, the company has decided to create a new business unit that will focus on management of these assets, according to a company communiqué.

Abril Education estimates consolidated annual revenue from the recently acquired  groups at R$ 100 million, with EBITDA of R$ 32.5 million and margins of 33%.

With these two deals, Abril Education’s test preparation schools and courses now include the Anglo brand, in São Paulo, pH, in Rio, Sigma in the federal district and Motivo in Recife.

Estimates of consolidated revenue for these businesses in 2013 is nearly R$  270 million, “comparable to the revenues from the sale of the company’s sales of educational systems,” the company said.

No doubt the company will realize synergies using print material from its own educational publishing companies, including Ática e Scipione, acquired in 1999 from Vivendi Universal Publishing.

The company boasts content partnerships with mainline educational content provides from the English-speaking world, such as Discovery Education:

Abril Education client schools can rely on a variety of pedagogical support and teaching materials, as well as teacher training and classroom management support, and boasts a vast collection of digital assets, including partnership with leading educational institutions, such as the exclusive partnership the company maintains with Discovery Education.

In other words, the company traffics in edutainment. It also maintains ties to MTV, although reports are that Abril will sell the brand back to Viacom.  A new channel will take over MTV’s broadcast  spectrum, while MTV will remain available on cable.

Much of Brazilian cable TV consists primarily of American content subtitled or dubbed — Futurama is terrible when dubbed — although in recent years a minimum of national content has successfully been imposed. In practice, this means endless reruns of O Homem Que Copiava — a worthwhile undertaking, don’t get me wrong.

Abril Educação currently provides goods and services of some kind to more than 130,000 schools and 35 million students in all the states of the Federation.

Other content partners, according to the Abril Group Web site:

  1. Naspers (South Africa) | Champion of apartheid, several board members served as apartheid presidents
  2. Editorial Perfil
  3. Elle | Hachette Filipacchi Presse
  4. Estilo | Time Inc
  5. National Geographic Brasil | National Geographic Society
  6. Nova | The Hearst Corporation
  7. Playboy | Playboy Enterprises International
  8. Children’s magazines | Disney
  9. Runner’s World, Men’s Health and Women’s Health | Rodale Inc
  10. Superinteressante | GyJ España Ediciones, published by the German group Gruner+Jahr
  11. MTV Brasil |Viacom

Abril’s partner in the education sector is BR Investments, via two funds: BR Educacional and FIP Brasil. The fund manager announced a R$ 226 million investment in Abril in August 2010.

It would be interesting to know how much of the revenues from the overarching Abril Group come from this revenue source, which the group defends vigorously, if not to say with implacable aggression.