Abril Educação Acquires Wise Up for US$445 Million

Abril Educação, the education arm of Brazilian media conglomerate Grupo Abril, has acquired language education company Wise Up. The price tag: US$445 million (R$877 million).

The transaction will take place in parts, with Abril Educação initially acquiring 56% of Wise Up and picking up the rest later down the line.

Founded in 1995, Wise Up is a leader in English language education in Brazil and has been selected as the official language school of the 2014 World Cup. It possesses a network of over 76,000 students and 338 franchise schools in 89 Brazilian municipalities, 36 Brazilian oil rigs, and 21 other countries.

This acquisition comes as part of a larger strategy on the part of Abril Educação in supporting English language education in Brazil and purchasing companies in the sector. It acquired Livemocha in 2011 and Red Balloon in 2012, and it has revealed plans to make up to four new purchases this year.

Education the New E-Commerce?

While e-commerce was all the rage in Brazil in 2012, might 2013 be the year of education? It certainly looks like a possibility.

Macmillan Digital Education announced investments in Veduca and Easyaula at the start of the month, and the number of players in the mix has been growing consistently over the past year. Examples: LinguaLeo, Descomplica, Já Entendi, busuu.com, OpenEnglish, and the list goes on …