Insurer Is One Of The Largest Agricultural Lenders With Its $13.2 Billion Portfolio
MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) announced February 1, 2016 that it originated $3.2 billion in agricultural loans in 2015 through its Agricultural Investments Department. MetLife is one of the largest agricultural mortgage lenders in North America with a portfolio of $13.2 billion as of September 30, 2015, the largest in the company’s history.
“MetLife had a busy year lending to its agricultural customers in the United States and abroad, growing our portfolio to a record level in 2015,” said Robert Merck, senior managing director and global head of agricultural investments for MetLife. “We are approaching our 100th anniversary as an agricultural lender, so our customers know that 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.”
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 2015, the average loan-to-value ratio of MetLife’s overall agricultural mortgage portfolio was 43 percent.
“We are proud of our performance in 2015, growing our portfolio to a record $13.2 billion despite lower commodity prices and the drought in California,” said Barry Bogseth, managing director and head of MetLife’s agricultural portfolio unit. “In 2016, we expect to continue our growth by identifying superior agricultural lending opportunities in the United States and abroad.”
Highlights of MetLife’s domestic and international agricultural lending transactions for 2015 include:
GP Irrigated Farms, LLC
- $26 million, 25-year term loan fixed for 10 years
- Secured by improved farmland and water rights located in southeast Colorado
- Security is used for the production of dairy feedstuffs, including alfalfa
Hartung Brothers, Inc.
- $11.2 million, 10-year fixed rate
- Secured by improved farmland located in south central Wisconsin
- Security is used primarily for the production of seed corn and vegetables
Seanaria Farms, LLC
- $47.55 million, 20-year variable rate loan
- Secured by high quality irrigated farmland located in the San Joaquin Valley of California
- Security is used for the production of almonds and pistachios, one of many properties under the Maha Investments LLC umbrella, managed by a family with decades of experience in tree nut production
Lex Richland L.P.
- $110 million, 10-year fixed rate loan
- Secured by a 456,412 square foot cold warehouse and distribution facility located in Washington State operated to provide refrigerated storage and logistics services to a packaged foods company
- Lex Richland L.P. is an affiliate of Lexington Realty Trust. Financing was arranged through Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.
Acadian Timber Corp.
- $82.5 million, senior secured, in two tranches: $72.5 million five-year fixed and $10 million revolving line of credit with a five-year term
- Secured by timberland located in Maine and in New Brunswick, Canada
- Acadian Timber Corp. is a leading supplier of primary forest products in Eastern Canada and the Northeastern U.S. The assets are managed by Brookfield Asset Management, a global alternative asset manager.
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 www.metlife.com.