MetLife Investment Management (MIM), the institutional asset management business of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), announced today that it originated $6.0 billion in agricultural mortgage loans in 2021, a record level for MIM, exceeding its previous origination record by 20%. This robust production boosted MIM’s year end total agricultural mortgage loan assets under management (AUM) to $22.9 billion,1 also a record for MIM, furthering its position as the largest, non-government sponsored source of agricultural mortgage capital for the sector.2
“In a year when agricultural producers took advantage of strong financial performance and low interest rates to expand their operations, the agricultural mortgages team was at its best in supporting our borrowers’ capital needs,” said Robert Merck, global head of Real Estate and Agriculture at MetLife Investment Management. “This record achievement in originations is the latest milestone in a timeline that includes more than 100 years of MetLife lending to support farmers and rural communities.”
Greg Gallaway, head of MIM’s Agricultural Strategies group, noted: “MIM’s team, embedded in local communities, worked successfully with hundreds of borrowers to acquire prime farmground, timberlands and food and agribusiness companies. Our record origination volume is really a reflection of the team’s coordinated effort and deep expertise in delivering tailored financial solutions to borrowers. We remain committed to providing capital to producers who sustainably grow commodities that support the needs of a growing global population.”
Highlights of MIM’s agricultural lending transactions for 2021 include:
LandFund Partners Soil Enrichment Fund
- $125 million senior secured accordion facility split across three tranches with a 15-year term
- At origination the transaction is secured by a diversified pool of cropland spanning the Mid-South region
- Funds to be used to acquire, improve and manage productive, irrigated farmland
- The Soil Enrichment Fund is committed to reducing and sequestering carbon emissions by using regenerative farming practices in its land
Sierra Pacific Land & Timber Company
- $200 million senior secured financing consisting of two interest only notes with tenors of 20 and 25 years as part of larger term and revolving credit facilities agented by American Ag Credit, ACA and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., respectively
- Established by Curly and Red Emmerson in 1949, Sierra Pacific is a third-generation, family-owned integrated forest products company based in Anderson, California
- Secured by over 1 million acres of sustainably-managed timberland in California, Oregon, and Washington
- Loan proceeds facilitated the acquisition of 175,000 acres of timberland, sawmills and a biomass energy plant in Oregon, making the Emmerson family the largest private landowners in the U.S. and strengthening Sierra Pacific Industries’ market position as a top-five U.S. lumber producer
New Cold Seattle, LLC
- $134 million variable rate financing transaction with a 10-year term
- Secured by a 24 million cubic foot, fully automated warehouse in Tacoma, Wash.
- A cold storage and logistics company whose warehouse freezer is 13 stories tall and contains 100,000 pallet positions that are serviced by a proprietary software-controlled crane, conveyor, and a monorail system
- $44 million senior secured fixed rate financing with an 11-year term
- Secured by nearly 6,000 acres of permanent cropland in Chihuahua, Mexico, a state which is well positioned to access export markets into the United States
- Collateral consists of pecan orchards with plans to increase the plantings over the remaining area over the next few years
About MetLife Investment Management
MetLife Investment Management, the institutional asset management business of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), is a global public fixed income, private capital and real estate investment manager providing tailored investment solutions to institutional investors worldwide. MetLife Investment Management provides public and private pension plans, insurance companies, endowments, funds and other institutional clients with a range of bespoke investment and financing solutions that seek to meet a range of long-term investment objectives and risk-adjusted returns over time. MetLife Investment Management has over 150 years of investment experience and, as of December 31, 2021, had $669.0 billion in total assets under management.3
MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates (MetLife), is one of the world’s leading financial services companies, providing insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management to help its individual and institutional customers navigate their changing world. Founded in 1868, MetLife has operations in more than 40 markets globally and holds leading positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.
The forward-looking statements in this news release, such as “plans,” “remain,” “seek” and “well positioned,” are based on assumptions and expectations that involve risks and uncertainties, including the “Risk Factors” MetLife, Inc. describes in its U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. MetLife’s future results could differ, and it has no obligation to correct or update any of these statements.
1 As of December 31, 2021. Total agricultural mortgage loan AUM represents the value of all agricultural mortgage loans managed by MIM, at estimated fair value, presented on the basis of net asset value (net of encumbering debt).
2 Based on publicly available data as of December 31, 2021, that includes publicly disclosed financial reports from lenders, in addition to American Bankers Association data.
3 Total AUM is comprised of all MetLife general account and separate account assets and unaffiliated/third party assets, at estimated fair value, managed by MIM.
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