History

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Grupo Ser Educacional was established in 1993, with the founding of Complexo Educacional Bureau Jurídico, under the leadership of Professor José Janguiê Diniz ("Janguiê"), who offered preparatory courses for admissions exams to government job openings, a new business field in the city of Recife at the time. That same year, Janguiê began to offer national and international conferences in the legal field. In 1999, with the successful recognition of the brand, Complexo Educacional Bureau Jurídico began to offer preparatory courses for admissions exams to Law schools.

In 2003, Faculdade Maurício de Nassau, operated by Ensino Superior Bureau Jurídico Ltda. (ESBJ), the successor to Complexo Educacional Bureau Jurídico, was officially founded with the publication of MEC Ordinance 1.109 in Brazilian Official Gazette. At the same time, degree programs in Law, Business Administration, Social Communication and Biomedicine were authorized. It was Mr. Janguiê himself who realized the need for a local college and made the decision to undergo every effort to develop a quality higher education project for the region. In acknowledgment of Recife’s history, he named the institution Faculdade Maurício de Nassau in honor of Maurício de Nassau, an outstanding entrepreneur recognized by all Brazilians.

In just over three years of existence, Faculdade Maurício de Nassau had established itself as an important educational institution in the North and Northeast regions of Brazil, focused on growing and increasing its management structure with the objective of making its expansion project feasible for the main municipalities in both regions.

In 2006, Faculdade Maurício de Nassau acquired institutions in João Pessoa and Campina Grande, in the state of Paraíba.

In 2007, Faculdade Maurício de Nassau implemented an Advisory Council aimed at guiding its strategies. Among the Council’s key assignments, jointly with Hoper Consulting, was to redefine the Company’s strategic planning, while launching units in João Pessoa and Campina Grande. During that same year, Grupo Universitário Maurício de Nassau obtained accreditation and began operating Faculdade Joaquim Nabuco, in the city of Paulista, in the state of Pernambuco, offering a new business model targeted at lower-income students.

In continuity with its expansion project and aimed at strengthening its corporate governance policy, the Company installed, in 2008, its Board of Directors comprised by shareholder representatives and professionals recognized in the market for their professional contributions to major Brazilian corporate groups. In October 2008, Cartesian Capital Group invested R$48.0 million to acquire an 11.3% interest in ESBJ.

Also in 2008, Faculdade Joaquim Nabuco opened a new campus in downtown Recife, and acquired Faculdade Baiana de Ciências (FABAC) in Salvador and Lauro de Freitas, ESAMC (ADEA - Sociedade de Desenvolvimento Educacional Avançado Ltda.) in Maceió, and CDF (SECARGO - Sociedade Educacional Carvalho Gomes Ltda.), in Natal, continuing its expansion process throughout Brazil’s Northeast region.

Also in 2008, Faculdade Joaquim Nabuco opened a new campus in downtown Recife, and acquired Faculdade Baiana de Ciências (FABAC) with units in Salvador and Lauro de Freitas, in the State of Bahia, ESAMC (ADEA - Sociedade de Desenvolvimento Educacional Avançado Ltda.) located in Maceió, in the State of Alagoas, and Faculdade CDF (SECARGO - Sociedade Educacional Carvalho Gomes Ltda.), located in Natal, in the State of Rio Grande do Norte, thus continuing its expansion process in the Northeast region.

In 2009, Grupo Universitário Maurício de Nassau reformulated its academic directives and, as a result, unified its curriculum and education matrix for its courses, implementing an electronic journal methodology and an academic audit process (for further information, please refer to item 7.3 of this Reference Form).

The restructuring and growth processes continued in 2010, when Grupo Universitário Maurício de Nassau received auditors from the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank group, which approved a credit line in the among of R$80 million. Grupo Universitário Maurício de Nassau also initiated its ISO 9001 certification process which, as a result, enabled the Institution to reevaluate and redefined all its internal processes. During that same year, after a branding project, the Group decided to change its corporate name to Grupo Ser Educacional S.A.

In 2011, Grupo Ser Educacional S.A. significantly increased the portfolio of programs offered on its campuses. Also during this year, the Company incorporated campuses in Aracaju and Belém, in the States of Sergipe and Pará, respectively, in addition to launching the campus in Mercês, in the city of Salvador, State of Bahia.

In 2013, three campuses were acquired in Piauí (FAP Teresina, Faculdade Aliança and FAP Parnaíba), one campus in Paulista, Recife (Faculdade Decisão) and one campus in Vitória da Conquista, in Bahia (Faculdade Juvêncio Terra).

In 2012, through MEC Ordinance 701, Faculdade Maurício de Nassau in Recife was accredited as a university center under the name UNINASSAU - Centro Universitário Maurício de Nassau. Also in 2012, UNINASSAU obtained the ISO 9001 certification. During that same year, it began operating a campus in Caruaru, in the State of Pernambuco, and acquired campuses in Manaus and São Luís, in the States of Amazonas and Maranhão, respectively.

Also in 2013, year in which the Group celebrated its tenth anniversary, Grupo Ser Educacional held its initial public offering (IPO) and its shares began trading in the Novo Mercado listing segment of B3, Brazil’s stock exchange, being listed among the publicly traded companies with the highest corporate governance levels.

In 2014, the Group acquired Faculdade Anglo Líder - FAL, located in São Lourenço da Mata, in the State of Pernambuco, União de Ensino Superior do Pará - UNESPA ("UNESPA"), the operator of Universidade da Amazônia - UNAMA, in the city of Belém, State of Pará, and Instituto Santareno de Educação Superior - ISES, operator of Faculdades Integradas Tapajós - FIT, headquartered in Santarém, also in the State of Pará.

In 2015, in continuity with its expansion plan, Ser Educacional entered the Southeast region by acquiring, through its subsidiary CENESUP - Centro Nacional de Ensino Superior Ltda., 100% of Sociedade Paulista de Ensino e Pesquisa S/S Ltda (the operator of Universidade de Guarulhos - UNG), under the terms of the Stock Purchase Agreement and Other Covenants. UNG is among the most traditional universities in Brazil, and the only university in the region of Guarulhos, and currently has 5 campuses, three in Guarulhos (Dutra, Bonsucesso and Centro), one in the city of São Paulo (Shopping Light) and one in Itaquaquecetuba, countryside of the Sate of São Paulo. UnG celebrated its 45th anniversary in 2015 and is highlight in the fields it operates due to its academic strength, diverse undergraduate programs and the Stricto and Lato Sensu graduate courses it offers (including three master’s degree programs and one doctorate program), in addition to the expertise of its faculty.

Also in 2015, Ser Educacional also acquired Faculdade Talles de Mileto (FAMIL), in the amount of R$6.0 million. FAMIL had 2 units, one in Fortaleza, in the State of Ceará, and one in Parnamirim, in the State of Rio Grande do Norte, and also signed a Maintenance Assignment Agreement and Other Covenants with Instituto Metodista Bennett, assigning Centro Universitário Bennett to UNESPA for R$10.0 million, to be paid upon completion of the assignment. The agreement allows the Company to enter the city of Rio de Janeiro with an operational university license and launch new courses upon its successful completion.

In term of organic growth, Ser Educacional obtained, in 2015, the approval of four new units in the cities of Petrolina, Olinda and Jaboatão dos Guararapes, all in the State of Pernambuco, and in the city of Feira de Santana, in the State of Bahia, ending the year with a total of 42 units. In the distance learning segment (EAD), the Group obtained accreditation for UNG, which began to operate with 6 learning centers and increased to 15 centers. The EAD program for UNINASSAU was also approved, allowing the Group to request another 400 distance learning centers.

In 2016, the Group’s activities continued to expand in the Southeast region, through the signing of a Non-Onerous Maintenance Assignment Agreement for Faculdade São Camilo (FASC), as well as the conclusion of the Maintenance Assignment Agreement and Other Covenants for the Centro Universitário Bennett, in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The UNIVERITAS brand was created for the operations in the Southeast and South regions and FASC now operates as Faculdade UNIVERITAS and Centro Universitário Bennett now operates as Centro Universitário UNIVERITAS.

The Company continued its organic growth plan from 2016 to 2018, having 43 new units approved by the Ministry of Education (MEC): Cabo de Santo Agostinho (Pernambuco), João Pessoa (Pernambuco), Jaboatão dos Guararapes (Pernambuco), Maceió (Alagoas), Boa Vista (Roraima), Porto Velho (Rondônia), Rio Branco (Acre), Fortaleza (Ceará), Marabá (Pará), Garanhuns (Pernambuco), Maracanaú (Ceará), Ananindeua (Pará), Anápolis (Goiás), Juazeiro do Norte (Ceará), Sobral (Ceará), Mossoró (Rio Grande do Norte), Natal (Rio Grande do Norte), Brasília (Distrito Federal), Arapiraca (Alagoas), Campo Grande (Mato Grosso do Sul), Macapá (Amapá), Cuiabá (Mato Grosso), Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul), Vitória (Espírito Santo), Goiânia (Goiás), Belém (Pará), Palmas (Tocantins), Salvador (Bahia), Curitiba (Paraná), Joinville (Santa Catarina), Patos (Paraíba), Imperatriz (Maranhão), Campinas (São Paulo), Betim (Minas Gerais), Itabuna (Bahia), Caxias do Sul (Rio Grande do Sul), Florianópolis (Santa Catarina), São Bernardo do Campo (São Paulo), São José dos Campos (São Paulo), Uberlândia (Mingas Gerais), Contagem (Minas Gerais), Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais) e Londrina (Paraná). In addition to the accreditations, from January 2016 to December 31, 2018, a total of 699 new courses were approved, reaching 1,605 undergraduate courses offering over 947,000 student positions per year, of which 584,000 were designated to the Distance Learning (EAD) segment at the end of December 2018. UNAMA - Universidade da Amazônia was also accredited to offer distance learning (EAD) courses in Brazil. With this accreditation, UNAMA may launch up to 150 learning centers per year. As a result, Ser Educacional may have a total of 800 distance learning centers. The Faculdades UNINABUCO campuses in Paulista and Recife received their university accreditation from MEC, which enables new courses to be launched without prior approval.

On April 16, 2019, we announced, through our subsidiary CENESUP, the acquisition of UNINORTE de Manaus (Amazonas) for a base purchase price (enterprise value) of R$ 194.8 million, of which net debt in the amount of R$ 9.8 million will be deducted, as applicable. On December 31, 2018, UNINORTE had a total of 25,200 active enrolled students, of which 23,200 were enrolled in undergraduate programs and 2,000 were graduate students, and an adjusted EBITDA of R$ 18.7 million. Through UNINORTE, we will strengthen our presence in the North region of Brazil, with a significant number of undergraduate students in the city of Manaus. The UNINORTE brand is strongly recognized in the Manaus, with 8 consecutive "top of mind" awards, and is a benchmark player in the two largest cities in the North region Brazil, being the market leader in Belém, State of Pará. The Transaction is subject to the compliance with precedent conditions that are common in similar transactions and will be concluded as soon as such conditions are fully met.