HAMILTON, Bermuda, Dec. 6 /PRNewswire/ == Scottish Re Group Limited (NYSE: SCT – News) announced today that it has repurchased nearly all of the $115 million 4.5% Senior Convertible Notes issued by Scottish Re, which note holders had the right to put to the Company today.
Scottish Re has begun the process of calling the remaining $8,000 in Senior Convertible Notes that were not put in order to retire the full issue.
NEW YORK Dec. 6, 2006==Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said today that it raised its counterparty credit rating on Scottish Re Group Ltd. to B from CCC.
Standard & Poor’s also said that it raised its counterparty credit and financial strength ratings on Scottish Re’s operating companies as well as its ratings on dependent unwrapped securitized deals related to Scottish Re to BB from B plus
The ratings on securitizations that are wrapped or independent of the credit quality of Scottish Re are not affected).
In addition, Standard & Poor’s revised the CreditWatch status of all the ratings to developing from positive, where the ratings were placed on Nov. 27, 2006.
“The upgrades reflect the resolution of the immediate liquidity issue at the holding company,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Neil Strauss. “The revision of the CreditWatch status to developing reflects the potential outcomes, one favorable and one unfavorable, related to the proposed transaction with Mass Mutual Capital Partners LLC and affiliates of Cerberus Capital Management L.P.”
On Dec. 1, 2006, Scottish Re reached an agreement with its banks to amend its bank credit facilities and allow funds to be upstreamed from the operating companies to the holding company. This enabled Scottish Re to repurchase nearly all of the $115 million in convertible notes puttable on Dec. 6, 2006, and retire the remainder, as announced earlier today.
In the summer of 2006, when Scottish Re announced its second-quarter 2006 earnings loss, this had highlighted the bank convenant, which precluded dividends to the holding company. Holders of the puttable notes indicated that such a put would occur on Dec. 6, 2006, which made more critical the impaired liquidity at the holding company.
In addition, on Nov. 27, 2006, Scottish Re announced that it had reached an agreement with Mass Mutual Capital Partners LLC and affiliates of Cerberus Capital Management L.P. regarding an equity infusion of $600 million. Mass Mutual Capital and Cerberus Capital will also provide additional funds for short- and long-term liquidity and capital needs. The transaction among the parties is expected to close in the second quarter of 2007, assuming regulatory and shareholder approval.
If the deal closes, it is likely that Standard & Poor’s would raise the counterparty credit rating on Scottish Re Group Ltd. to the ‘BB’ category and raise the counterparty credit and financial strength ratings on Scottish Re’s operating companies as well as the ratings on dependent unwrapped securitized deals related to Scottish Re to within the ‘BBB’ category.
However, if the deal is not consummated, the current ratings would likely be lowered to the ‘B’ category or lower. Without the deal, it would be difficult for Scottish Re to proceed with an orderly run-off or manage as an operating company.
Several big companies are trying to team up to
WASHINGTON==(BUSINESS WIRE)==As the cost of providing health care continues to rise, Applied Materials, BP America, Inc., Intel Corporation, Pitney Bowes, Inc. and Wal-Mart are funding an independent nonprofit institute to develop “Dossia,” a Web-based framework through which U.S. employees, dependents and retirees can maintain lifelong personal health records.
Together, the companies will provide this benefit to more than 2.5 million individuals across the United States starting next year.
said JD Kleinke, chairman and CEO of the Omnimedix Institute, the non-profit organization with headquarters in Portland, Ore. that is developing Dossia.
The unique Dossia framework gathers health information on behalf of the individual from various sources and stores it within secured databases.
Health records will be secure and private, accessible only by the individual or by others to whom they have granted permission. Records also will be portable, enabling individuals to continue using the records even if they change employers, health plans or doctors.
“The leadership of these companies in offering personal health records is encouraging and I hope more employers will make similar commitments soon.,” said Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt.
Lower costs, reduce hassles
based on the Connecting for Health Common Framework, a set of design and policy standards established by consumer advocacy organizations, physician groups, insurers, technologists and privacy watchdogs.
Connecting for Health is funded by the Markle and Robert Wood Johnson Foundations.
l health record.
Dossia enables an individual to develop a personal health record via two means: entering the data themselves and enabling the system to search and securely aggregate their individual health data from various sources.
Once Dossia is complete, it will begin drawing information from all available electronic sources within the health care system on behalf of each individual who requests it.
Individuals opt-in to the system and then decide what information to share and with whom.
Additionally, since Dossia is hosted by an independent third party, there is an organizational barrier between the data and outside parties, including employers and health insurers.
Dossia is strongly supported by many organizations within the health care industry including the American Association of Family Physicians as well as consumer groups such as the National Consumers League.
Dossia will initially be rolled out to the U.S. employees, dependents and retirees of the original five corporations, but will soon be made available to other communities of users and personal health applications developers. Omnimedix will start to deploy Dossia in mid-2007.
About Intel Corporation
Intel, the world leader in silicon innovation, develops technologies, products and initiatives to continually advance how people work and live. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com/pressroom.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
“The National Association of Manufacturers fully supports this effort to enable employees, their dependents and retirees to maintain lifelong electronic health records,” said NAM President John Engler. “The use of health IT is critical for attaining value driven health care- better quality at affordable costs.”