Sallie Mae Could Boost Hostile TakeoverBid

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HARRISBURG, Pa. - (02/16/05) -- A top executive of Sallie Mae saidMonday that the student-loan giant might lift its $1 billion offerto take over the student-loan administration of the PennsylvaniaHigher Education Assistance Agency. The board of the state'sstudent-aid agency, known for its low-interest loans and grants,rejected Sallie Mae's unsolicited offer in late December, butSallie Mae continues to lobby state legislators, who have the finalsay, on the offer. The state House Appropriations Committee plansto hold hearings on the offer on Thursday. June McCormack, SallieMae's executive vice president of servicing and sales marketing,said the corporation is "absolutely not" opposed to raising theoffer, if PHEAA found it to be too low. Sallie Mae proposed to takeover servicing of PHEAA's $45 billion portfolio of loans and grantsby paying the state $500 million up front, followed by $100 millionannually over five years.

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