As Brazil’s economy grows stronger, its need for more English speakers increases. Abril Educação, one of Brazil’s biggest publishers and an education company that teaches primary and secondary school courses, is capitalizing on this need by increasing its involvement in companies teaching ESL. Very recently, Abril Educação acquired Wise Up, a Brazilian ESL company, for $444 million. The country has a deficit of English teachers. Only 3% of the population can speak English.
Recognizing this need, Abril Educação has been acquiring ESL-teaching companies. In fall 2011, Abril Educação partnered with Livemocha – 20% of Livemocha’s users are in Brazil. In July 2012, Abril Educação bought a majority share of Red Balloon, a school franchise, for $15 million.
According to Manoel Amorim, Abril Educação’s CEO, “We’re looking at all acquisition opportunities there are in Brazil [and the language school industry would] consolidate as most companies are family businesses, and many want to associate with stronger players or sell.”