Sallie Mae and its dissident shareholders have agreed to separate voting on the issues of privatization and who will manage the company.
As a result of the agreement, announced late Tuesday, a dissident- shareholder meeting scheduled for today was canceled. Instead, the opposing groups will hold a meeting in mid to late July when shareholders will vote first on whether to privatize the government-sponsored enterprise.
Shareholders will then choose between a board of directors put forth by Sallie Mae's management and one offered by the dissident group, known as the Committee to Restore Value, or CRV. If the dissidents win control, Sallie Mae is expected to start making student loans-and become a major competitor to the banking industry.
Earlier this month, different plans for Sallie Mae's future advanced by existing management and the committee attracted roughly the same number of shareholder votes. Neither garnered enough support to prevail.
A 1996 law requires the government to liquidate the $40 billion-asset student loan concern by 2012 unless half the shareholders approve a privatization plan by March 1998.