MetLife, Inc. (NYSE:MET) announced today that it originated, through MetLife Real Estate Investors, approximately $11.5 billion in commercial real estate loans in 2013. MetLife remains a leader in the commercial mortgage marketplace and the largest lender in the insurance industry, with a portfolio of more than $42 billion in commercial mortgages.
MetLife Real Estate Investors, reorganized in late 2012 to include an asset management capability for institutional investors, also had a strong first full year of operation. The company secured more than $7 billion in commitments from institutional investors.
The company agreed to invest nearly $3 billion in its equity real estate portfolio, including deals with several new joint venture partners in 2013. MetLife’s authorized investment in such properties was $1.9 billion, with the balance provided by other investors. Commercial mortgage lending and equity real estate deals provide MetLife with investment opportunities that match the long-term liabilities the company writes through its insurance products.
Within its international portfolio, MetLife also successfully grew its lending activities in 2013, originating $1.2 billion in the United Kingdom, $500 million in Mexico, $400 million in Japan, and $225 million in Chile.“MetLife was prolific across a variety of real estate sectors in 2013,” said Robert Merck, senior managing director and global head of real estate investment for MetLife. “We strengthened our position as a leader in commercial mortgage lending both domestically and internationally. In addition, we expanded our activity in the asset management space and anticipate continuing to creating attractive opportunities for institutional investors.” Strong Commercial Mortgage Lending MetLife originated a number of high-quality commercial real estate loan transactions with sizes of $100 million and above. Some noteworthy transactions in 2013 included:
- $500 million participation in a $1 billion first mortgage on 1095 Avenue of the Americas, a Class A office building in midtown Manhattan that serves as MetLife’s headquarters
- $450 million loan on The Shops at Columbus Circle, a high-end retail center located in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle in Manhattan
- $360 million first mortgage on The Americana at Brand, a super-regional shopping center in Los Angeles County
- $320 million senior loan on the Edwardian Hotel Group, collateralized by a portfolio of hotels in the United Kingdom
- $235 million first mortgage on BG Group Place, a Class A office tower in Houston, Texas
- $150 million loan on The Mall at Green Hills, a top-quality regional mall located in Nashville, Tenn.
- $125 million (MXP 1.67 billion) senior loan secured by a cross-collateralized pool of eight retail properties located in various cities across Mexico, including Reynosa, Escobedo, Saltillo and Juarez
- $114 million (JPY 11.4 billion) senior loan secured by a cross-collateralized pool of six office and two residential properties located in Tokyo, Osaka and Hokkaido, Japan
- $100 million first mortgage on Mosaic Apartments, a 386-unit, Class A multifamily project in San Jose, Calif.