TEXT - S&P affirms The Phoenix Cos rating
Overview -- PNX has received consent from a majority of its bond holders to amend the indenture for its $253 million outstanding 7.45% quarterly interest senior debt issue. -- We are affirming our 'BB-'financial strength ratings and 'B-' counterparty credit ratings on the company. -- The stable outlook reflects our view that Phoenix's financial profile is stabilizing and improving incrementally. Rating Action On Jan. 16, 2013, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'B-' long-term counterparty credit rating on The Phoenix Cos. Inc. (NYSE:PNX). At the same time, we affirmed our 'BB-' financial strength ratings on subsidiaries Phoenix Life Insurance Co. and PHL Variable Insurance Co. (collectively Phoenix). We removed all the ratings from CreditWatch Negative, where they were placed Dec. 7, 2012. The outlook is stable. Rationale PNX has received the required approval from a majority of its bond holders to amend its indenture regarding its third-quarter 2012 SEC filing. The company had previously breached a covenant when it didn't file its third-quarter 2012 SEC filing with the trustee within 15 days of the SEC filing deadline. If not remedied, this breach of covenant may have led to an acceleration of principal payments. On Dec. 12, 2012, PNX began a consent solicitation to amend the indenture. As of Jan. 15, 2013, the company had received a one-time consent from at least 65% of its bond holders, allowing PNX to extend the date for providing its third-quarter 2012 form 10-Q to the bond trustee to March 31, 2013. Outlook The stable outlook reflects our view that Phoenix's financial profile is stabilizing and incrementally improving, mainly because of improving operating performance and its continuous strengthening of its capital base. However, its business profile remains marginal. In the short term, we expect Phoenix to be able to make all timely payments on its obligations. In the longer term, we expect PNX's repositioning strategy to be successful and to add new distribution relationships that increase sales. Related Criteria And Research -- The Phoenix Cos. Inc. Ratings Placed On CreditWatch Negative After Covenant Breach, Dec. 7, 2012 -- Phoenix Cos. Inc., May 14, 2012 Ratings List Ratings Affirmed; CreditWatch/Outlook Action To From Phoenix Cos. Inc. Counterparty Credit Rating Local Currency B-/Stable/-- B-/Watch Neg/-- Senior Unsecured B- B-/Watch Neg PHL Variable Insurance Co. Phoenix Life Insurance Co. Counterparty Credit Rating Local Currency BB-/Stable/-- BB-/Watch Neg/-- Financial Strength Rating Local Currency BB-/Stable/-- BB-/Watch Neg/-- Phoenix Life Insurance Co. Subordinated B- B-/Watch Neg
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