Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Sallie Mae Sues

No, it ain't a hillbilly name...
Two private equity firms, J. C. Flowers & Company and Friedman Fleischer & Lowe, and two banks, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, were fixing to take Sallie Mae private for $60 a share. The largest holder of federal student loans would've gone from being a government-sponsored entity to a privately held company in the space of just four years.
Then Bush signed the College Cost Reduction Act , with about $20 billion in subsidy cuts to Sallie Mae and other federal student loan providers. JC Flowers saw this as enough of a "material adverse effect" to Sallie Mae's business to walk away from the deal
(also spurred by upheaval in the credit markets that are making all of these types of deals look shakier). They made a counteroffer--$50 a share with "warrants" worth $4 to $5 more if Sallie Mae's business improves. Now Sallie Mae is suing to force them to hold to the original deal.
Will they succeed? Probably not.
Why should we care? I don't think it's good for a company that depends entirely on government subsidies to be privately held. I also don't think student loans should be a corporate cash cow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sallie Mae is a corrupt institution. Look at what they paid their last CEO. Look at their financial restatements. They are a gov. sponsored monopoly. How is that any better than a private inst? Why should the gov be the source of all school loans?

The unstated biases in these articles are big enough to drive a truck through.