SAO PAULO Oct 4 (Reuters) - Anima Educacao SA, a Brazilian education company, and its shareholders plan to sell at least 348 million reais ($158 million) worth of its shares in an initial public offering later this month, the company said on Friday.
Anima, which owns three universities located in the cities of Belo Horizonte and Santos in southeastern Brazil, wants to sell shares to investors to expand and strengthen its capital position. Anima was founded in 2003.
The company and its shareholders will offer an initial allotment of 21.1 million shares in a primary and secondary offering, Anima said in a prospectus published in newspaper Valor Economico. The company set the price range for the shares at between 16.50 and 22 reais.
The company may also offer 4,128,181 in additional shares, as well as 3,163,636 shares in an extra allotment sold by the bank syndicate in case shares are oversubscribed.
Anima expects to start trading on Oct. 28 on Brazilian exchange BM&FBovespa.
Brazil's $11 billion-a-year education industry has grown at a double-digit rate in recent years as a tight job market demanded a skilled labor force with better technical knowledge, stronger analytical abilities and proficiency in foreign languages.
IPOs have become a feasible fundraising option for college operators, language schools and learning systems providers as merger-and-acquisition activity heated up over the past two years.
Ser Educacional SA is also expected to sell shares in an IPO later this month.
Anima hired investment banks Itaú BBA and Bank of America Merrill Lynch as advisers. Itaú BBA is a unit of Itaú Unibanco Holding SA, Brazil's largest bank by market value. Bank of America Merrill Lynch is a unit of Bank of America Corp .