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(Adds Cruzeiro do Sul declining to comment)
SAO PAULO, Dec 23 (Reuters) - GIC, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, is close to buying a 40 percent stake in Brazilian education firm Cruzeiro do Sul Educacional SA for approximately 500 million reais ($152 million), newspaper Valor Econômico said on Friday.
GIC signed an agreement for exclusive talks on the potential purchase which could be announced in January, Valor said, citing unnamed sources with knowledge of the talks.
GIC did not respond to an emailed request for comment. Cruzeiro do Sul declined to comment.
São Paulo-based Cruzeiro do Sul, founded in 1965, is Brazil's sixth largest private provider of education with about 160,000 students and 5,000 employees, according to its website. It made net profit of 81 million reais in 2015. ($1 = 3.2865 reais) (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Greg Mahlich and Andrew Hay)