Company Expands Agricultural Lending Platform in Brazil

MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) announced today that it originated,through its agricultural investments department, $3.0 billion in agricultural loans in 2012, an increase of more than seven percent over 2011. With an agricultural mortgage loan portfolio of approximately $13 billion at year end 2012, MetLife remains a leading lender to agriculture.

“MetLife added to its portfolio of high quality agricultural mortgages in 2012 and strengthened its position as a leader in the agricultural lending industry,” said Robert Merck, global head of agricultural investments for MetLife. “Our success demonstrates our expertise in providing our customers with a reliable and trusted source of financing for the long-term growth of their business.”

Agricultural mortgages provide MetLife with investment opportunities that match the long-term liabilities the company writes through its insurance products.

In 2011, the company originated $2.8 billion in agricultural loans.

Consistent with the company’s global strategy to grow its business in emerging markets, MetLife expanded its agricultural lending platform in Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy, offering five- and 10-year agricultural mortgages in U.S. dollars. In 2012, MetLife originated $300 million in agricultural loans to Brazilian producers of cotton, grains and oil seeds, among other crops.

“We bring the same commitment to prudent risk management and a long-term approach to our international opportunities as we do to our domestic ones, and we have succeeded in growing both in 2012,” said Dan O’Neill, managing director and head of MetLife’s agricultural portfolio unit. “We will continue in 2013 to identify superior agricultural lending opportunities in the US and internationally, with a particular focus on emerging markets.”

Highlights of MetLife’s domestic and international transactions for 2012 include:

GF Group

  • $85.0 million first mortgage, 10 year fixed rate
  • Secured by agricultural real estate located in the states of Bahia and Piauí, Brazil
  • GF Group is one of the largest Brazilian agricultural commodity producers in Northeast Brazil. The largest portion of their cropland is dedicated to soybeans, with the remaining portions planted in cotton and corn.

Forestar Group Inc.

  • $85.0 million senior secured, variable rate with a 5 year term
  • Secured by timberland in Georgia, Alabama, Texasand other company assets
  • Forestar Group Inc (NYSE: FOR) is a publicly traded real estate and natural resources company headquartered in Austin, Texas.

NORPAC Foods, Inc.

  • $28.3 million firstmortgage, 12 year fixed rate
  • Secured by processing and cold storage facilities in Oregon and Washington
  • NORPAC Foods, Inc. is a processor and marketer of high quality branded and private-label canned and frozen food products.

American Cold Storage-North America, L.P.

  • $7.5 million first mortgage, variable rate with a 10 year term and a $2.5 million first mortgage revolving line of credit with a 5 year term
  • Secured by warehouse/distribution facilities located in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee
  • American Cold Storage operates public refrigerated storage warehouses and offers services in the areas of handling, storage and processing/freezing.

“We think 2013 will offer substantial opportunities for agricultural mortgage lending.Our 96-year track record of investing in the agricultural sector and our commitment to superior customer service will help drive our success this year and beyond,” added Merck.

Through its agricultural investments department, MetLife oversees an agricultural portfolio of approximately $13 billion, which consists of farm and ranch, food and agribusiness and timberland mortgages. MetLife has provided agricultural financing solutions since 1917 and is one of the largest agricultural mortgage lenders in North America. MetLife has agricultural investments offices in Fresno, CA, Overland Park, KS, West Des Moines, IA, Bloomington, IL, and São Paulo, Brazil as well as its Timberland Finance Group, located in Memphis, TN.


MetLife, Inc. is a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit

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For Media: Christopher Breslin
Fred Pieretti
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