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Sallie Mae says yes

Marketplace Contributor Apr 16, 2007


SCOTT JAGOW: The country’s biggest student loan company is going private. This morning, Sallie Mae confirmed it’s being sold to a group of investors for $25 billion. The group includes two private equity firms and the banks, JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America. What this means is Sallie Mae won’t be under the same scrutiny it is now as a publicly-traded company. And with student lending in the spotlight at the moment, there’s already some resistance to this deal in Washington. We turn now to one of our reporters in D.C., Stephen Henn. Stephen, what’s been the reaction?

STEPHEN HENN: Democrats on the Hill aren’t casting a favorable eye on this deal. Last Friday the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee issued a statement critical of the deal even before it was announced. Congressman Miller, who’s the chair, is really concerned that the scandal around student lenders was allowed to fester for years because the industry wasn’t very transparent. Students and their parents didn’t know that these banks had relationships with the colleges that were recommending them and he’s concerned that a deal like this taking Sallie Mae private will only make this industry more opaque.

JAGOW: So is there any indication that lawmakers will try to stop this?

HENN: I think it’s probably too early to say that but there are abundant indications that lawmakers are preparing to dig into this industry in depth. Committees on the House and Senate side have requested documents from all the leading student lenders in the field and are planning investigations.

JAGOW: OK Stephen Henn in Washington, thank you.

HENN: Thank you.

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