METLIFE TOPS $3 BILLION IN AGRICULTURAL LOANS IN 2013; INTERNATIONAL DEALS HELP DRIVE NEARLY 10 PERCENT INCREASE
NEW YORK, March 4, 2014 – MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) announced today that it originated $3.3 billion in agricultural mortgage loans in 2013 through its Agricultural Investments Department, an increase of nearly 10 percent year-over-year. MetLife is one of the largest agricultural lenders in the insurance industry, managing an agricultural loan portfolio of more than $12 billion.
“Our agricultural mortgage business performed very well in 2013, and MetLife was able to strengthen its position as a leader in the agricultural lending industry,” 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 strategy to grow its business in international markets, MetLife continued to increase lending in Brazil, the largest economy in Latin America. MetLife originated $285 million in agricultural loans to Brazilan producers of cotton, grains and oilseeds, among other crops. MetLife is also actively marketing its agricultural loan services in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Agricultural lending provides MetLife with investment opportunities that match the long-term liabilities the company writes through its insurance products.
“We grew our business both domestically and internationally in 2013 because our customers value our prudent risk management and long-term approach to business,” said Barry Bogseth, managing director and head of MetLife’s agricultural portfolio unit. “In 2014, 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 transactions for 2013 include:
Gaylon Lawrence Family
- $189 million, senior secured 20-year fixed rate loan
- Secured by improved farmland in southeast Missouri and northeast Arkansas
- The security primarily finances cotton, corn, rice and soybean production
Sugar Creek Packing Co.
- $30 million first mortgage, 15-year loan
- Secured by processing facilities in Kansas and Ohio
- Sugar Creek is one of the largest privately owned manufacturing companies providing a range of bacon protein products for the U.S. food service and retail industries
Fazenda São Francisco
- $50 million first mortgage, 10-year fixed rate
- Secured by agricultural real estate in Bahia, Brazil
- Fazenda São Francisco is family owned and one of the largest producers in the region
Paulo Massayoshi Mizote
- $30 million first mortgage, 10-year fixed rate
- Secured by agricultural real estate located in Bahia, Brazil
- Mizote, a traditional producer in that region, primarily farms a mix of soybeans, cotton and corn
Cumberland Tree Farm
- CA$75 million (US$73.47) senior secured, two tranches: CA$70 million (US $63.2 million) 10-year fixed rate, and CA$5 million (US$ 4.5 million) variable rate with a 10-year term
- Secured by timberland in Nova Scotia, Canada
- Cumberland Tree Farm is one of the largest private timberland holdings in Nova Scotia
MetLife’s Agricultural Investments Department oversees an agricultural portfolio of more than $12 billion, 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.
MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates (“MetLife”), is a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs. MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.
This news release may contain or incorporate by reference information that includes or is based upon forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements give expectations or forecasts of future events. These statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They use words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe” and other words and terms of similar meaning, or are tied to future periods, in connection with a discussion of future operating or financial performance. In particular, these include statements relating to future actions, prospective services or products, future performance or results of current and anticipated services or products, sales efforts, expenses, the outcome of contingencies such as legal proceedings, trends in operations and financial results.
Any or all forward-looking statements may turn out to be wrong. They can be affected by inaccurate assumptions or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Many such factors will be important in determining the actual future results of MetLife, Inc., its subsidiaries and affiliates. These statements are based on current expectations and the current economic environment. They involve a number of risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. These statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Risks, uncertainties, and other factors that might cause such differences include the risks, uncertainties and other factors identified in MetLife, Inc.’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). These factors include: (1) difficult conditions in the global capital markets; (2) increased volatility and disruption of the capital and credit markets, which may affect our ability to meet liquidity needs and access capital, including through our credit facilities, generate fee income and market-related revenue and finance statutory reserve requirements and may require us to pledge collateral or make payments related to declines in value of specified assets, including assets supporting risks ceded to certain of our captive reinsurers or hedging arrangements associated with those risks; (3) exposure to financial and capital market risks, including as a result of the disruption in Europe; (4) impact of comprehensive financial services regulation reform on us, as a potential non-bank systemically important financial institution, or otherwise; (5) numerous rulemaking initiatives required or permitted by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act which may impact how we conduct our business, including those compelling the liquidation of certain financial institutions; (6) regulatory, legislative or tax changes relating to our insurance, international, or other operations that may affect the cost of, or demand for, our products or services, or increase the cost or administrative burdens of providing benefits to employees; (7) adverse results or other consequences from litigation, arbitration or regulatory investigations; (8) potential liquidity and other risks resulting from our participation in a securities lending program and other transactions; (9) investment losses and defaults, and changes to investment valuations; (10) changes in assumptions related to investment valuations, deferred policy acquisition costs, deferred sales inducements, value of business acquired or goodwill; (11) impairments of goodwill and realized losses or market value impairments to illiquid assets; (12) defaults on our mortgage loans; (13) the defaults or deteriorating credit of other financial institutions that could adversely affect us; (14) economic, political, legal, currency and other risks relating to our international operations, including with respect to fluctuations of exchange rates; (15) downgrades in our claims paying ability, financial strength or credit ratings; (16) a deterioration in the experience of the “closed block” established in connection with the reorganization of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company; (17) availability and effectiveness of reinsurance or indemnification arrangements, as well as any default or failure of counterparties to perform; (18) differences between actual claims experience and underwriting and reserving assumptions; (19) ineffectiveness of risk management policies and procedures; (20) catastrophe losses; (21) increasing cost and limited market capacity for statutory life insurance reserve financings; (22) heightened competition, including with respect to pricing, entry of new competitors, consolidation of distributors, the development of new products by new and existing competitors, and for personnel; (23) exposure to losses related to variable annuity guarantee benefits, including from significant and sustained downturns or extreme volatility in equity markets, reduced interest rates, unanticipated policyholder behavior, mortality or longevity, and the adjustment for nonperformance risk; (24) our ability to address difficulties, unforeseen liabilities, asset impairments, or rating agency actions arising from business acquisitions, including our acquisition of American Life Insurance Company and Delaware American Life Insurance Company, and integrating and managing the growth of such acquired businesses, or arising from dispositions of businesses or legal entity reorganizations; (25) the dilutive impact on our stockholders resulting from the settlement of our outstanding common equity units; (26) regulatory and other restrictions affecting MetLife, Inc.’s ability to pay dividends and repurchase common stock; (27) MetLife, Inc.’s primary reliance, as a holding company, on dividends from its subsidiaries to meet debt payment obligations and the applicable regulatory restrictions on the ability of the subsidiaries to pay such dividends; (28) the possibility that MetLife, Inc.’s Board of Directors may influence the outcome of stockholder votes through the voting provisions of the MetLife Policyholder Trust; (29) changes in accounting standards, practices and/or policies; (30) increased expenses relating to pension and postretirement benefit plans, as well as health care and other employee benefits; (31) inability to protect our intellectual property rights or claims of infringement of the intellectual property rights of others; (32) inability to attract and retain sales representatives; (33) provisions of laws and our incorporation documents may delay, deter or prevent takeovers and corporate combinations involving MetLife; (34) the effects of business disruption or economic contraction due to disasters such as terrorist attacks, cyberattacks, other hostilities, or natural catastrophes, including any related impact on the value of our investment portfolio, our disaster recovery systems, cyber- or other information security systems and management continuity planning; (35) the effectiveness of our programs and practices in avoiding giving our associates incentives to take excessive risks; and (36) other risks and uncertainties described from time to time in MetLife, Inc.’s filings with the SEC.
MetLife, Inc. does not undertake any obligation to publicly correct or update any forward-looking statement if MetLife, Inc. later becomes aware that such statement is not likely to be achieved. Please consult any further disclosures MetLife, Inc. makes on related subjects in reports to the SEC.
Speeches, Testimony and Q&A
MetLife CEO Steve Kandarian in a major address on systemic risk says the federal government should focus on regulating risky activities not institutions.
MetLife Americas President William J. Wheeler testifies before Congress on systemic risk.