TEXT-Fitch keeps Phoenix Companies on watch negative
Feb 4 - Fitch Ratings has maintained its Rating Watch Negative on the 'B' rated holding company Issuer Default Rating of Phoenix Companies, Inc.'s (PNX) and the 'BB+' Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) ratings of PNX's primary insurance operating subsidiaries pending release of final restatements of GAAP financials. Fitch notes that PNX was successful in getting approval from a majority of holders of its outstanding $253 million of 7.45% bonds due in 2032 to extend the deadline for providing third quarter 2012 financials to the bond trustee. Absent the extension, acceleration of the debt maturity could have been triggered. The filing delay was tied to restatements of previously filed audited and interim GAAP financials. The restated financials are expected to be filed by March 18. If the restated numbers are not materially worse than the previously reported numbers, Fitch could remove the Rating Watch and affirm the ratings. Results that are materially worse could trigger a downgrade. Fitch has maintained the following ratings on Rating Watch Negative: Phoenix Companies, Inc --IDR at 'B'. Phoenix Life Insurance Company --IFS at 'BB+'; --IDR at 'BB'; --$174 million Surplus note 7.15% due Dec. 2034 at 'B+'. PHL Variable Insurance Company --IFS at 'BB+'. Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'. The ratings above were unsolicited and have been provided by Fitch as a service to investors. Applicable Criteria and Related Research: --'Insurance Rating Methodology' January 2013
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