S&P cuts Pennsylvania's W. Penn Allegheny Health System rating

Tue Dec 4, 2012 10:02am EST

Dec 4 (Reuters) - Standard & Poor's Ratings Service said on Tuesday it cut Pennsylvania's West Penn Allegheny Health System's $726 million bonds to CC from B-minus.

S&P said its lowered rating reflects uncertainty after Highmark Inc and the agency resumed talks about restructuring the agency's debt and pension obligations.

Despite a legal ruling prohibiting the agency from seeking other suitors "there remains significant uncertainty as to whether the parties will reach an agreement that will receive subsequent approval by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department," S&P credit analyst Cynthia Keller said in a statement.