TEXT - S&P comments on Blyth Inc
Dec 26 - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that its ratings on Conn.-based Blyth Inc. (B+/Stable/--) remain unchanged following the company's recent announcement that it has reached an agreement to increase its ownership stake in its ViSalus Holdings LLC subsidiary to more than 80% for a cash consideration of $57.4 million. In addition, the new agreement eliminates the former purchase obligation that would have been due in 2013, and instead provides for the redemption in December 2017 of the remaining portion of ViSalus that Blyth does not own through the issuance of $147.5 million of convertible preferred stock to ViSalus founders and shareholders. We estimate that credit measures are essentially unchanged, as we had previously included the balance-sheet amount of its redeemable noncontrolling interest in ViSalus in our adjusted debt calculations. We will continue to evaluate any impact on the ratings if there are any further changes in ownership structure.