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Souza Cescon, Mattos Filho and Pinheiro Neto in Abril’s Saraiva acquisition

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Souza, Cescon, Barrieu e Flesch - Advogados and Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados have helped Brazil's Abril Educação reach an agreement to buy the education publishing portfolio of Brazil's biggest book shop chain, Saraiva, for US$231 million.

Saraiva turned to Pinheiro Neto Advogados. Souza Cescon is advising Abril on the acquisition, while Mattos Filho is antitrust counsel to Abril. The deal was signed on 18 June.

The transaction will see Abril subsidiary Editora Ática buy 100 per cent of the shares of Saraiva Educação, including the brands Editora Saraiva, Editora Érica, Sistema de Ensino Ético and Sistema de Ensino Agora. The purchase price will be adjusted depending on Saraiva Educação's debts at closing, the date of which is subject to approval from regulators, including Brazil's antitrust authority CADE and Abril's shareholders. Abril will finance the purchase through a mix of its own funds and by raising debt.

São Paulo-founded Abril is controlled by Brazilian fund manager Tarpon, which increased its portion of Abril's voting shares in February. Pinheiro Neto Advogados associate Gustavo Crêdo says the deal was sped up because of Tarpon's takeover in February. "The whole transaction was negotiated very fast, mostly because Tarpon acquired control of Abril in February and it needed to carry out a mandatory tender offer to all shareholders," he explains.

Tarpon bought an initial 19.9 per cent stake in Abril worth US$298 million through investment fund Thunnus in June 2014. It turned to Stocche Forbes Advogados, while Abril and the selling Civita family retained Mattos Filho. Tarpon's total stake in the education provider is worth US$415 million. Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC also owns a stake in Abril; it bought an 18.5 per cent share worth US$265 million in August 2014 with the help of Mattos Filho. Selling shareholder BR Investimentos was advised by Machado, Meyer, Sendacz e Opice Advogados.

Abril, which is undergoing a name change to become Somos Educação by September, runs publishing houses Ática and Scipione, schools Colégio Motivo and Centro Educacional Sigma in Pernambuco and Brasília, language course company Wise Up and educational mobile network Edumobi. It bought Colégio Motivo and Centro Educacional Sigma in 2013 with help from BMA - Barbosa, Müssnich, Aragão andTozziniFreire Advogados; Recife-based Colégio Motivo turned to Siqueira Castro Advogados, while Sigma relied on Machado Meyer. Also in 2013, Abril acquired Wise Up with the help of BMA.

The educational provider carried out a US$155 million IPO in 2011, with the help of Pinheiro Neto Advogados, White & Case LLP, Pinheiro Guimarães - Advogados and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.

Crêdo says Saraiva will now be able to reduce its debts and focus on its retail business under the Saraiva brand name. The deal is expected to close in December.


Counsel to Abril Educação

Souza, Cescon, Barrieu e Flesch - Advogados

Partners Marcos Rafael Flesch, Darkson Galvão and Marina Prado, and associates Alessandra Souza, Luiz di Sessa and Erick Stegun

Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados

Partner Carlos Ragazzo and associates Frederico Carrilho Donas and Eduardo Henrique Kruel Rodrigues


Counsel to Saraiva

Pinheiro Neto Advogados

Partner Fernando Alves Meira and associate Gustavo Crêdo


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