METLIFE ORIGINATES NEARLY $3 BILLION IN AGRICULTURAL MORTGAGES IN 2011
NEW YORK, March 5, 2012 – MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) announced today that it has originated, through its Agricultural Investments Department, $2.8 billion in agricultural mortgage loans in 2011, consistent with 2010. MetLife continues to be one of the largest agricultural lenders in the industry, with over $13 billion in agricultural mortgage loans outstanding.
“MetLife continues to be very active in the agricultural lending industry,” said Robert Merck, senior managing director and head of global agricultural investments for MetLife. “Our mortgage production demonstrates our expertise in providing borrowers with a reliable and trusted source of financing for the long-term growth and success of their business. At the same time, with the transactions we’ve completed this year, we have continued to further strengthen our high-quality portfolio of agricultural mortgages.”
“Our commitment to prudent risk management and our long-term investment approach has allowed us to take advantage of attractive opportunities in the U.S. and internationally, and we will continue to focus on top quality agricultural mortgages in 2012," said Dan O'Neill, managing director and head of MetLife's agricultural portfolio group. “MetLife's success is a testament to our speed of execution, our superior customer service, and our ability to do a variety of transactions, from the simple to the complex.”
Outside the U.S., MetLife grew its agricultural lending activities and expanded its business platform in Brazil, and will be opening a regional office in Sao Paulo in the next several months. In addition, MetLife is actively seeking timber opportunities in Australia and New Zealand.
Some of MetLife's recent transactions include:
Standlee Hay Company, Inc.
- A multi-million dollar loan secured by a first mortgage on over 10,000 acres, 10 year fixed rate with 20 year term
- Secured by irrigated crop land in south central Idaho
- Standlee Hay produces hay and provides forage processing, storage and distribution services domestically and internationally
Green Plains Grain Company, LLC
- $30.0 million first mortgage, 10 year fixed rate
- Secured by grain elevators and storage facilities in Iowa, Missouri and Tennessee
- Green Plains Grain is a wholly owned subsidiary of Green Plains Renewable Energy and provides grain processing and storage services, together with agronomy services, to area farmers
Hill Enterprises Company
- $8.4 million first mortgage, 15 year fixed rate
- Secured by irrigated crop in south central Arkansas
- Hill Enterprises is engaged in the acquisition and leasing of crop land in the Delta and Corn Belt regions
Griffin Family Investment Company, et al
- $87.3 million first mortgage, including a 10 year fixed rate with a 20 year term and a one year rate with a 10 year term
- Secured by irrigated crop land located in south east and east central Arkansas
- Griffin Family Investment is engaged in farming, agribusiness services, and non-agricultural businesses in the mid-South region of the U.S.
“We remain optimistic that 2012 will be another notable year for agricultural mortgage investments given the strong market fundamentals in the agricultural sector and our successful 95 year history of investing in the agriculture industry,” added Merck.
Through its agricultural investments department, MetLife oversees an agricultural portfolio of over $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, and Bloomington, IL, as well as its Timberland Finance Group which is located in Memphis, TN. For more information, visit www.metlife.com/ag or for more information on our timber group, visit www.metlife.com/timber.
MetLife, Inc. is a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers in over 50 countries. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.
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