I do not see anything sinister in this. Blackboard is being told that if you sell right now, you may get up to $ 3.4 Billion at auction. if it cost Providence $ 1.64 Billion in 2011 to take Blackboard private, that will be quite a profit.
They are face with a decision knowing that the competition is catching up to them. This may be the right time to sell. Will rates go up, I doubt it, not if the new owners want to stay competitive in the marketplace. I think it will be business as usual.