Pennsylvania CUs Lobby Against Sallie MaeBid

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HARRISBURG, Pa. - (03/10/05) -- The Pennsylvania CU Associationurged Gov. Ed Rendell Wednesday to reject a hostile takeover of thestate-owned student loan agency by Sallie Mae, saying the state'scollege students and their families would be better served byallowing the not-for-profit loan agency to remain out of thestudent loan giant's hands. "For more than 40 years (PennsylvaniaHigher Education Assistance Agency) has provided low-cost loans andgrants to Pennsylvanians including those with modest means," wrotePCUA Chairman Ron Lasich to the Governor. "Like credit unions,PHEAA is a nonprofit that puts people ahead of profits." Hesuggested Sallie Mae would not be offering $1 billion to take overPHEAA's business if it did not expect the move to add to thecompany's profits. PHEAA has the largest market share of studentloans in Pennsylvania and provides services to more than 170 creditunions. Sallie Mae made the offer to the PHEAA board in Decemberbut the board summarily rejected the bid, prompting the company tolobby directly to state lawmakers who control the state-agency.State lawmakers held hearings on the offer last month. Thelegislature could override the board's rejection of the offer,which would need to be approved by Gov. Rendell.

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