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Brazil lifts suspension of Ser Educacional's public offering

SAO PAULO, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Brazil's securities industry watchdog CVM on Monday lifted the suspension of Grupo Ser Educacional SA's initial public offering after the education company included relevant tax information in the offering's prospectus.

In a statement, the Rio de Janeiro-based regulator said the suspension of Ser Educacional's IPO would end effectively on Tuesday. Last week CVM said the prospectus lacked information on tax benefits stemming from a government program subsidizing university tuition.

The impasse came amid a three-month drought in new stock listings on the São Paulo Stock Exchange. Ser Educacional and shareholders had intended on Friday to price the IPO, with which they sought to raise up to 723.3 million reais ($333 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 workforce with better technical knowledge, stronger analytical abilities and proficiency in foreign languages.

Initial public offerings have become a feasible fundraising option for college operators, language schools and learning systems providers, just as mergers and acquisitions activity has heated up over the past two years.

Ser Educacional hired the investment banking units of Grupo BTG Pactual SA, Credit Suisse Group, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Banco Santander Brasil SA to manage its IPO.