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Scottish Re Reports Big Loss

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Poor results for the fourth quarter of 2006 have increased uncertainty about the future of Scottish Re Group Ltd.

Scottish Re, Hamilton, Bermuda, has been trying persuade its investors that it is in poor enough financial shape that investors should vote for a financing deal that will greatly dilute existing shareholders’ stake in the company.

Securities analysts say Scottish Re’s latest quarterly results look bad to them.

“While we expected a lot of noise this quarter, what we got was still an eye opener–enough so that we don’t think investors can or should ignore results,” John Nadel, an analyst in the New York office of Fox-Pitt, Kelton, writes in a comment on the results.

One silver lining is that the results could push shareholders who have been on the fence toward voting for the proposed financing transaction because the deal “is likely the only way to sustain some value for the common shareholders,” Nadel writes.

Scottish Re is reporting a net loss of $232 million for the fourth quarter of 2006 on $668 million in revenue, compared with $61 million in net income on $675 million in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2005.

Scottish Re reported a total of $377 million in net losses for 2006.

The company attributes $11 million in operating losses for the fourth quarter to higher-than-expected North American mortality, but the biggest charge, for $118 million, is a tax expense related to a $91 million valuation allowance on a deferred tax asset.

Units of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield, Mass., and a group of affiliates of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P., New York, the organizations that have offered to pump $600 million into Scottish Re, have responded to the results by asking for a second change to a securities purchase agreement.

Scottish Re agreed in January to an amendment that changed the certificates of designation for the convertible shares.

The second amendment, negotiated Tuesday, will provide up to $68.5 million in “additional indemnity” for the investors if actual claims of in-force individual life reinsurance business acquired from ING America Insurance Holdings Inc. exceed expectations. The ING business originally was written by Security Life of Denver Company and Security Life of Denver International Ltd. before Scottish Re assumed responsibility for it.

Scottish Re has postponed a shareholder meeting planned for Feb. 23 back to March 2 to give shareholders more time to consider the amendment, Scottish Re says.

But, “I can affirmatively state that MassMutual Capital and Cerberus remain committed to closing the transaction and the amendment noted above is not expected to have any impact on the timing of the closing,” Scottish Re President Paul Goldean says in a statement.


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