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Scottish Re Buys Back Convertible Notes

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A struggling life reinsurer today succeeded at meeting obligations to investors.

Scottish Re Group Ltd., Hamilton, Bermuda, says it has repurchased about $115 million in convertible notes.

The holders of the notes, which were paying an interest rate of 4.5%, had a legal right to make Scottish Re buy the notes today.

Scottish Re used financing arrangements announced Friday, including a credit agreement change that helped it get cash from one of its own subsidiaries, to buy the notes.

Only $8,000 of the 4.5% convertible notes were not put, and Scottish Re has started calling those notes so that it can retire the full issue, the company says.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, New York, reacted to the news by increasing its counterparty credit rating on Scottish Re to B, from CCC.

S&P also has raised its counterparty credit and financial strength ratings on Scottish Re’s operating companies to BB, from B plus.

S&P raised the ratings because of the credit agreement change announced Dec. 1, S&P says.

S&P is still looking closely to see whether Scottish Re succeeds at completing a $600 million financing deal announced Nov. 27 that would give an affiliate of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield, Mass., and Cerberus Capital Management L.P., New York, a majority stake in Scottish Re, S&P says.

The deal is supposed to close by June 30, 2007.

“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,” S&P says.

“However, if the deal is not consummated, the current ratings would likely be lowered to the B category or lower,” S&P says. “Without the deal, it would be difficult for Scottish Re to proceed with an orderly run-off or manage as an operating company.”