MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) announced today that it originated $3.6 billion in agricultural loans in 2014 through its Agricultural Investments Department, an increase of 9 percent year-over-year. MetLife is one of the largest agricultural mortgage lenders in North America.

“MetLife continued to strengthen its position as a leader in the agricultural lending industry in 2014,” said Robert Merck, senior managing director and global head of agricultural investments for MetLife. “Our customers know they can rely on MetLife as a trusted source of financing for the long-term growth of their business, and this drives our success year after year.”

Consistent with the company’s global strategy to grow its business in emerging markets, MetLife continued to increase lending in Brazil, originating $360 million in agricultural loans to Brazilian producers of cotton, grains and oilseeds, among other crops. This represents an increase of 26 percent over the $285 million originated in Brazil during 2013.

Agricultural investments are an important part of MetLife’s asset-liability matching program. The long-term nature of these investments makes them a good match for the long-term liabilities the company writes.

In 2014, the average loan-to-value of MetLife’s overall agricultural mortgage portfolio was 44 percent.

“We succeeded in growing our business both domestically and internationally in 2014 because our customers value our strategic approach to this business,” said Barry Bogseth, managing director and head of MetLife’s agricultural portfolio unit. “In 2015, we expect to continue our growth by identifying superior agricultural lending opportunities in the United States and abroad, especially in key emerging markets such as Brazil.”

Highlights of MetLife’s domestic and international agricultural lending transactions for 2014 include:

Red Mountain Timberlands, LLC

  • $1 billion funding commitment in five tranches
  • Secured by approximately 2.3 million acres of diverse timberland holdings located in seven states
  • Red Mountain Timberlands assets are managed by Birmingham-based Resource Management Service, LLC

Amaggi Group

  • $150 million 12-year floating rate loan
  • Secured by a qualified real estate mortgage on developed farmland in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil
  • Amaggi is a family-owned agricultural conglomerate that is one of the largest domestic producers and traders of farm commodities in Brazil

SDG Lombard, LLC

  • $22 million financing in two 20-year fixed rate tranches
  • Secured by two warehouse facilities located in Napa County, Calif.
  • Security was built by Stravinski Development Group and occupied by affiliate Valley Wine Warehouse

Consolidated Ag Properties, LLC

  • $15.25 million 25-year term loan fixed for 15 years
  • Secured by ranch and farmland located in southern Idaho and Utah
  • The security is used for the production of cattle, sheep, wheat, potatoes, alfalfa and corn

Superior East II, LLC

  • Commitment to a $14.25 million 20-year fixed rate mortgage loan
  • Greenfield shuttle train loader facility located in South Central Nebraska
  • Secured by a ground lease, a 2.5 million bushel grain storage facility and rail loop track

MetLife’s Agricultural Investments Department oversees an agricultural portfolio consisting primarily of mortgages for farms, ranches, food production, agribusiness and timberland. 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, Calif., Overland Park, Kan., Memphis, Tenn., and a consulting office in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

About MetLife, Inc. 
MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates (MetLife), is one of the largest life insurance companies in the world. Founded in 1868, MetLife is a global provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. Serving approximately 100 million customers, MetLife has operations in nearly 50 countries and 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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Fred Pieretti