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LandAmerica scrambling for cash

Analysts voice bankruptcy concerns

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LandAmerica Financial Group Inc. faces "serious liquidity constraints" now that rival Fidelity National Financial Inc. has backed out of a deal to acquire the troubled title insurer, analysts at Fitch Ratings said in slashing LandAmerica's debt rating and the insurer financial strength ratings of its subsidiaries. LandAmerica, which reported a $599.6 million third quarter loss, has breached its covenants on $250 million in bank debt, and can't access $290 million invested in auction-rate securities as part of its 1031 exchange business, Fitch analysts said. After announcing an agreement to acquire LandAmerica Nov. 7, Fidelity said Friday it was exercising its right to pull out of the deal during a due diligence period (see story).Several analysts have suggested LandAmerica may pursue bankruptcy protection in light of the failed merger, the Wall Street Journal reported in an article Monday. LandAmerica may rack up more losses as the company is forced to liquidate other investm...