Standard & Poor's on Thursday gave Livent Inc. the equivalent of a thumbs-down Wednesday, cutting its senior unsecured debt to D from CCC.

S&P cited Livent's "weak financial condition, historical accounting irregularities, and outstanding shareholder lawsuits."

Livent is carrying about $125 million in senior unsecured bank debt and about $8.5 million in subordinated debt. The Toronto-based company has not filed financial information since Aug. 10, so it is unclear how many banks are creditors.

The downgrade is the second for Livent this year and comes on the heels of its decision to file for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.

Livent, a theater company run by Hollywood mogul Michael Ovitz, is carrying about $200 million in debt. Several of its productions, including "Ragtime" and "Phantom of the Opera," have canceled shows and face uncertainty.

Mr. Ovitz is suing Livent's founders, Garth H. Drabinsky and Myron I. Gottlieb, alleging that they misled him about the company's finances when he invested $20 million in it.

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