UPDATE 1-Shares of Brazil’s Yduqs and Ser jump in bids for Laureate Education assets

(Adds shares, analyst’s comment, background)

RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Shares of Brazilian education company YDUQS Participações S.A. and Ser Educacional SA jumped on Monday after the companies offered competing bids for Laureate Education Inc’s assets in Brazil.

Yduqs, a for-profit education company formerly known as Estacio Participações, is “deepening the understanding of these assets and believes it is able to present a more attractive competing proposal” than Ser, it said in a filing on Monday.

Shares of Yduqs rose more than 6% to 29.60 reais, and Ser jumped more than 13% to 16.74 reais. Laureate’s shares rose 1.35% to $13.47.

Ser Educacional announced on Sunday it had agreed to acquire the assets of Laureate group in Brazil. The U.S.-listed company, which owns and operates campuses in about 10 countries, has 267,000 undergraduate students in Brazil, according to a report by BTG bank.

Ser Educacional’s offer values Laureate’s

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Former education head, contractors accused of fudging bids

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Locked doors and a notice regarding COVID-19, greeted reporters at the Mississippi Department of Education offices in Jackson, Miss., Thursday, March 19, 2020.

AP

A former top official at the Mississippi Department of Education and three contractors who worked with the agency are being accused by the federal government of stealing thousands of dollars from the state of Mississippi by manipulating the bidding process for contracts and inflating costs.

The government alleges that, while acting as executive director of the Office of Educator Quality in the Department of Education from 2013 to 2016, Cerissa Renfroe Neal stole $42,000 from the state and granted contractors she conspired with more than $650,000 in state contracts, including federal funds the U.S. Department of Education granted to Mississippi.

Neal, 45, of Madison County, was charged in a federal indictment with conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and bribery, U.S. Attorney

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