State Student Loan Agency DeliversEmphatic 'No' To Sallie Mae

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HARRISBURG, Pa. - (12/2/04) -- The board of the state-ownedPennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency rejected out ofhand a $1 billion takeover offer from student loan giant Sallie Maeon Monday and said it would never sell out to a for-profitcorporation. "PHEAA is now and never will be for sale, especiallyto a profit-driven corporation with a track record of overchargingborrowers, laying off workers and gobbling-up any organization thatstands between students and a quest for bigger profits," saidElinor Taylor, chairman of the PHEAA board. "We have an obligationto protect students and to be wise enough to see through theget-rich-quick scheme designed to enrich corporate shareholders,not the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania." PHEAA manages $45 billion instudent loans and provides services to more than 170 Pennsylvaniacredit unions. The rejection comes just a week after Sallie Mae,which has been buying up competitors in the student loan market,offered to pay $1 billion for the Pennsylvania agency, comprised of$500 million up front and $100 million in five annualinstallments.

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