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First Marblehead Announces Completion of $281 Million Securitization of GATE and Chela Loans; Company Updates Guidance for Fiscal 2006.

BOSTON -- The First Marblehead Corporation (NYSE: FMD) today announced the closing of a securitization of GATE private student loans and private student loans formerly held by Chela Funding II, LLC. The GATE loans were originated with the assistance of First Marblehead and funded by Bank of America. Chela Funding II, LLC is a subsidiary of The Educational Financing Foundation of California.

In a private placement transaction, The National Collegiate Trust 2006-A (the Trust), a qualified special purpose entity, issued approximately $281 million in principal amount of asset-backed notes that bear interest based on one-month LIBOR. With the proceeds of the issuance, the Trust acquired a portfolio of GATE private student loans with a principal and accrued interest balance of approximately $109.5 million and a portfolio of Chela loans with a principal and accrued interest balance of approximately $95.3 million.

First Marblehead received up-front structural advisory fees of approximately $5 million at the closing of the securitization. This up-front cash revenue was approximately 2.4% of the balance of the loans securitized. In addition, over the term of the Trust, First Marblehead expects to receive additional structural advisory fees from the Trust with an estimated discounted present value of approximately $1.8 million, or 0.9% of the loan balance securitized, as well as residual cash flows with an estimated discounted present value of approximately $11 million, or 5.4% of the loan balance securitized.

Jack L. Kopnisky, First Marblehead's President and Chief Executive Officer, noted, "With the strong results achieved on both this private placement and The National Collegiate Student Loan Trust 2006-2 transaction, which also closed yesterday, we believe that our fiscal 2006 net income is likely to exceed the guidance we previously provided of 25-30% net income growth over fiscal 2005 levels."

About First Marblehead

First Marblehead, a leader in creating solutions for education finance, provides outsourcing services for private, non-governmental, education lending in the United States. The Company helps meet the growing demand for private education loans by providing national and regional financial institutions and educational institutions, as well as businesses and other enterprises, with an integrated suite of design, implementation and securitization services for student loan programs tailored to meet the needs of their respective customers, students, employees and members.

Statements in this press release regarding First Marblehead's expected net income for 2006, net income growth for fiscal 2006 compared to fiscal 2005 and securitization-related revenues, and any other statements that are not purely historical, constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based upon our plans, estimates and expectations as of June 9, 2006. The inclusion of this forward-looking information should not be regarded as a representation by us or any other person that the future financial results, estimates or expectations contemplated by us will be achieved. You are cautioned that matters subject to forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, including economic, regulatory, competitive and other factors, that may cause First Marblehead's actual financial results, securitization-related revenues, performance or achievements, or the timing of events, to be materially different than those expressed or implied by forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include: the estimates we make and the assumptions on which we rely in preparing our financial statements; our ability to accurately predict and effectively manage operating expenses; any variance between the actual performance of the Trust and the key assumptions we have used to estimate the present value of additional structural advisory fees and residual revenue, including prepayment and discount rates, interest rate trends, expected credit losses from the underlying securitized loan portfolio, net of recoveries, and the expected timing of cash flows from the Trust's underlying student loan assets; and the other factors set forth under the caption "Factors That May Affect Future Results" in First Marblehead's quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 10, 2006. We disclaim any obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this press release.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jun 9, 2006
Words:688
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