KSP.UN: S&P No Longer Rates Underlying Interest

Standard & Poor’s has announced:

it affirmed its ‘CCC-‘ unsolicited long-term counterparty credit ratings and negative outlook on Kingsway Financial Services Inc. and its subsidiaries (Kingsway). Subsequently, we withdrew the unsolicited ratings.

“Our ratings on Kingsway Financial Services and its subsidiaries were based on the group’s weak operating performance, liquidity, capital adequacy, competitive position, and financial flexibility,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Pablo Feldman.

Kingsway reduced its outstanding senior unsecured debt rated by Standard & Poor’s and held by third parties to about $36.9 million as of Sept. 30, 2010, from $176.8 million at year-end 2009. Kingsway financed this debt reduction with cash obtained from the sale of some of its subsidiaries and assets. “Because the company now has only a small amount of outstanding rated senior unsecured debt, we are withdrawing our unsolicited ratings,” said Mr. Feldman.

The negative outlook reflected our assessment of the company’s operating performance, liquidity, capital adequacy, competitive position, and financial flexibility as weak. We believe that the company has a high level of financial leverage and that its operating companies face a difficult underwriting environment. We also believe that Kingsway Financial Services is highly dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions to meet its financial obligations.

One of those financial obligations involves the future health of Kingsway Linked Return of Capital Trust, trading as KSP.UN and sponsored by Scotia Managed Companies:

The Trust was created to provide holders with exposure to a senior note issued by an affiliate of Kingsway Financial Services Inc. Holders of the LROC Preferred Units will receive primarily tax-deferred quarterly distributions of $0.3125 per LROC Preferred Unit representing a yield of 5.00% per annum on the $25.00 per LROC Preferred Unit offering price.

KSP.UN was last mentioned on PrefBlog when DBRS withdrew its rating last year. KSP.UN is not tracked by HIMIPref™.

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