(Reuters) – GP Investments Ltd (GPIV33.SA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the largest Latin American buyout firm, sold its remaining stake in Brazilian college operator Estácio Participações SA (ESTC3.SA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), pocketing five years of gains in one of the largest companies in the nation’s thriving education industry.
GP Investments sold its remaining 22,064,215 Estácio shares for 17.61 reais each through its GPCP IV fund, it said in a filing on Friday. Net proceeds from the sale were $56.5 million.
Brazil’s $11 billion-a-year education industry has grown at double-digit rates in recent years as a tight job market demands a skilled labor force with technical knowledge, stronger analytical abilities and language proficiency.
GP’s venture in Estácio started in 2008 with a 20 percent stake in the company. The internal rate of return, a gauge of the profitability of a project, was 17.8 percent in dollars, GP said.
This is the second divestment by the GPCP IV fund.
Since it started its activities in Latin America in 1993, GP Investments has already raised more than $5 billion to invest in 53 companies in 15 sectors, from steakhouses to hair salons.
Founded in 1970, Estácio has more than 313,000 students, mostly low- to middle-income, in one university and more than 30 colleges across Brazil. Earlier this month, it struck a deal to buy education company Uniseb for 615.3 million reais ($227.89 million).