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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These factors include: (1) difficult conditions in the global capital markets; (2) concerns over U.S. fiscal policy and the trajectory of the national debt of the U.S., as well as rating agency downgrades of U.S. Treasury securities; (3) uncertainty about the effectiveness of governmental and regulatory actions to stabilize the financial system, the imposition of fees relating thereto, or the promulgation of additional regulations; (4) increased volatility and disruption of the capital and credit markets, which may affect our ability to seek financing or access our credit facilities; (5) impact of comprehensive financial services regulation reform on us; (6) economic, political, legal, currency and other risks relating to our international operations, including with respect to fluctuations of exchange rates; (7) exposure to financial and capital market risk, including as a result of the disruption in Europe and possible withdrawal of one or more countries from the Euro zone; (8) changes in general economic conditions, including the performance of financial markets and interest rates, which may affect our ability to raise capital, 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; (9) potential liquidity and other risks resulting from our participation in a securities lending program and other transactions; (10) investment losses and defaults, and changes to investment valuations; (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) our ability to address unforeseen liabilities, asset impairments, or rating actions arising from acquisitions or dispositions, including our acquisition of American Life Insurance Company and Delaware American Life Insurance Company (collectively, “ALICO”) and to successfully integrate and manage the growth of acquired businesses with minimal disruption; (15) uncertainty with respect to the outcome of the closing agreement entered into with the United States Internal Revenue Service in connection with the acquisition of ALICO; (16) the dilutive impact on our stockholders resulting from the settlement of common equity units issued in connection with the acquisition of ALICO or otherwise; (17) 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; (18) downgrades in our claims paying ability, financial strength or credit ratings; (19) ineffectiveness of risk management policies and procedures; (20) availability and effectiveness of reinsurance or indemnification arrangements, as well as default or failure of counterparties to perform; (21) discrepancies between actual claims experience and assumptions used in setting prices for our products and establishing the liabilities for our obligations for future policy benefits and claims; (22) catastrophe losses; (23) heightened competition, including with respect to pricing, entry of new competitors, consolidation of distributors, the development of new products by new and existing competitors, distribution of amounts available under U.S. government programs, and for personnel; (24) unanticipated changes in industry trends; (25) changes in assumptions related to investment valuations, deferred policy acquisition costs, deferred sales inducements, value of business acquired or goodwill; (26) changes in accounting standards, practices and/or policies; (27) increased expenses relating to pension and postretirement benefit plans, as well as health care and other employee benefits; (28) 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; (29) deterioration in the experience of the “closed block” established in connection with the reorganization of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company; (30) adverse results or other consequences from litigation, arbitration or regulatory investigations; (31) inability to protect our intellectual property rights or claims of infringement of the intellectual property rights of others; (32) discrepancies between actual experience and assumptions used in establishing liabilities related to other contingencies or obligations; (33) regulatory, legislative or tax changes relating to our insurance, banking, 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; (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 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.
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