MetLife originates $1.6 billion in agricultural mortgages
Insurer MetLife (MET) which runs its own agricultural investment unit, originated $1.6 billion in agricultural mortgages this year to support farms, ranches, timberland and agribusiness facilities. The firm's recent originations included a $75 million contribution towards a $90 million senior secured loan on Aurora Cooperative out of Aurora, Neb. The loan is secured by grain handling and storage facilities. MetLife also originated an $80 million senior secured, 5.25-year fixed rate loan for FIA Timber Partners – Continental U.S. The loan is secured by timberland in various parts of the United States. Those assets are managed by Forest Investment Associates out of Atlanta. MetLife also originated a $56 million first mortgage for Central States Enterprises out of Heathrow, Fla. The loan is secured by grain storage and handling facilities in Northeast Indiana. In addition, the MetLife's agribusiness originated three senior, secured fixed-rate loans valued at $43 million for Woolf Enterprises out of Fresno and Madera counties in California. MetLife's agricultural investment department has a $13 billion agricultural portfolio that is made up of farms, ranches, food, agribusinesses and timberland mortgages. "MetLife continues to be very active in the agricultural lending industry," said Robert Merck, senior managing director and head of agricultural investments for MetLife. "Our mortgage production to date demonstrates our expertise in providing borrowers with a reliable and trusted source of financing for the long-term growth and success of their business." Write to Kerri Panchuk.