The ratings of closely watched British mortgage lender Northern Rock have been placed on CreditWatch with "developing implications" by Standard & Poor's following the company's disclosure that it had received "a number of approaches regarding a variety of potential transactions," including an acquisition.Northern Rock also has put on hold plans to pay an interim dividend per share that it previously had said it would pay to shareholders on Oct 26. "The board believes that it would not be appropriate to make any interim dividend payment until it can make a full announcement regarding the outcome of discussions with other parties and the development of the business model," the company said. Northern Rock can be found on the Web at http://www.northernrock.co.uk, and Standard & Poor's can be found at http://www.standardandpoors.com.

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