First Marblehead buying billing firm

Associated Press / November 23, 2010

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First Marblehead Corp. has agreed to acquire Tuition Management Systems from KeyCorp’s KeyBank NA unit.

First Marblehead, a Boston company that works with banks and credit unions to administer student loans and package them for sale to investors, did not disclose financial terms of the acquisition.

Tuition Management Systems handles tuition billing, planning, counseling, and other services for about 1,200 colleges, universities, and elementary and secondary schools in 47 states. The business processed about $3.7 billion in tuition and related payments last year, the companies said yesterday.

Brothers Steven and Jon Dodd founded Tuition Management in 1985. KeyBank, a unit of Cleveland-based KeyCorp, acquired Tuition Management Systems in August 2007.

The business, based in Warwick, R.I., will become a wholly owned subsidiary of First Marblehead in a transaction expected to be closed before year’s end. Tuition Management Systems, with about 170 employees, will retain its separate brand identity, management team, and operations.

First Marblehead said it expects Tuition Management to add about $31 million in revenue to its operating results, on an annualized basis.

The deal is expected to add to First Marblehead’s earnings in the second year after the transaction.