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SoftBank funding propels U.S. shares of Brazil's Afya to near three-month high

By Reuters

(Reuters) – U.S.-listed shares of Afya Ltd hit their highest in nearly three months in afternoon trading after the Brazilian medical education group announced a $150 million investment from SoftBank Latin America Fund.

The stock was up more than 12% at $24.10 by 1745 GMT on Tuesday.

The investment will be executed through the purchase of convertible preferred shares, Afya said, with SoftBank Group Corp also planning to buy about 2.2 million common shares of the company from two existing shareholders.

Based on the closing price of the stock on Monday, this would represent an additional investment of around $50 million.

The Japanese conglomerate has been expanding its focus on healthcare-focused startups in the region and invested in Brazilian healthtech iClinic last year.

Afya, which acquired iClinic earlier this year, provides medical education services to students in Brazil and debuted on the Nasdaq in 2019.

After the deal closes, SoftBank would own nearly 8.4% of Afya’s stock, the Brazilian group said. As part of the deal, Paulo Passoni, a managing investment partner at Softbank, will join Afya’s board within the next 30 days.

The new capital would be used for acquisitions and investments, the company said.

BofA Securities advised Afya on the deal.

(Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)