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Press release from Business Wire

MetLife Originates over $9.6 Billion in Commercial Mortgages and Invests $1.7 Billion in Real Estate Equity in 2012

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

MetLife Originates over $9.6 Billion in Commercial Mortgages and Invests $1.7 Billion in Real Estate Equity in 201208:02 EDT Wednesday, March 13, 2013 NEW YORK (Business Wire) -- MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) announced today that it originated, through its real estate investments department, over $9.6 billion in commercial mortgage loans in 2012. MetLife continues to be the largest portfolio lender in the insurance industry with $43.1 billion in commercial mortgages outstanding at year end 2012. “MetLife was a very active lender domestically and internationally in 2012, as we continued to focus on top quality properties in major markets,” said Robert Merck, global head of MetLife Real Estate Investors. “Our strategy for growth is based on prudent risk management and a long-term approach that enables us to execute quickly, process large transactions and provide our customers with world-class service.” MetLife participated in a number of high-quality commercial mortgage transactions with loan sizes of $175 million and above during 2012. Some noteworthy transactions included: $362 million loan on Waterside Plaza, a 1,471-unit apartment complex built over the East River in Manhattan; $264 million loan on Broadgate West, a Class A, top quality office complex in London; $258 million loan on The Westin in Times Square, a hotel located in Manhattan; $253 million loan on 101 California, a Class A, top quality office tower located in San Francisco; $200 million loan on a portfolio of retail properties in the U.K.; and $183 million loan collateralized by a portfolio of 39 industrial properties diversified in 10 Mexican markets. Within its international portfolio, MetLife successfully grew its commercial mortgage lending activities in 2012, originating over $1 billion in the U.K., $191 million in Mexico and more than 33.6 billion yen for its Japanese local account. In October 2012, MetLife reorganized its real estate arm to better manage its investments and the investments for its institutional investors and launched a third party asset management business within the real estate investments department. This enables the company to use its extensive experience in real estate to create investment opportunities that generate attractive, long-term returns for institutional investors. “We have more than a century of experience in real estate investing and a world-class track record of managing over $480 billion in general account assets to generate strong returns for both our policyholders and shareholders,” said Steven J. Goulart, executive vice president and chief investment officer of MetLife, Inc. “We are now bringing these strengths to bear for third-party institutional investors, who have demonstrated an increased demand for these private asset sectors where MetLife has proven capabilities.” MetLife's $12 billion equity real estate portfolio includes investments in office, apartment, retail, industrial and hotel properties. MetLife's real estate platform includes regional origination and asset management offices across eight cities in the U.S., as well as London, Mexico City, Tokyo and Santiago. MetLife committed to acquire real estate and real estate joint ventures with property values of $2.9 billion during the year ended December 31, 2012. The company's investment in such properties was $1.7 billion during that same period. MetLife's main focus has been on high quality core assets, with select opportunistic investments. One of the more noteworthy transactions involved MetLife's purchase of Constitution Center, the largest privately-owned office building in Washington, D.C. MetLife purchased this iconic property in a real estate joint venture with a U.S.-based institutional investor. The trophy property recently underwent an extensive renovation, converting it to a “green” building and establishing it as one of the most desirable privately-owned buildings in the market. “We were pleased to acquire an asset of this quality, which is positioned to provide attractive returns over a long-term investment horizon,” added Merck. “This acquisition is the culmination of an intense effort by our Washington, D.C.-based team, and demonstrates our ability to source some of the best core investments in the country.” In a wholly-owned venture, MetLife acquired Reynolds Plantation, Georgia's premier golf and resort community located on Lake Oconee. The acquisition included The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, six championship golf courses, four full-service marinas and nearly 5,000 acres of undeveloped golf and waterfront property. “Building our real estate equity portfolio is at the heart of our recently unveiled third party asset management initiative, which will target opportunities to leverage our existing organizational expertise and scale to create long-term value for our investors,” said Merck. MetLife, Inc. is a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com. This press release may contain or incorporate by reference information that includes or is based upon forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements give expectations or forecasts of future events. These statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They use words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe” and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with a discussion of future operating or financial performance. In particular, these include statements relating to future actions, prospective services or products, future performance or results of current and anticipated services or products, sales efforts, expenses, the outcome of contingencies such as legal proceedings, trends in operations and financial results. Any or all forward-looking statements may turn out to be wrong. They can be affected by inaccurate assumptions or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Many such factors will be important in determining the actual future results of MetLife, Inc., its subsidiaries and affiliates. These statements are based on current expectations and the current economic environment. They involve a number of risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. These statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Risks, uncertainties, and other factors that might cause such differences include the risks, uncertainties and other factors identified in MetLife, Inc.'s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). These factors include: (1) difficult conditions in the global capital markets; (2) increased volatility and disruption of the capital and credit markets, which may affect our ability to meet liquidity needs and access capital, including through our credit facilities, 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; (3) 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; (4) impact of comprehensive financial services regulation reform on us, as a potential non-bank systemically important financial institution, or otherwise; (5) numerous rulemaking initiatives required or permitted by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act which may impact how we conduct our business, including those compelling the liquidation of certain financial institutions; (6) regulatory, legislative or tax changes relating to our insurance, 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; (7) adverse results or other consequences from litigation, arbitration or regulatory investigations; (8) potential liquidity and other risks resulting from our participation in a securities lending program and other transactions; (9) investment losses and defaults, and changes to investment valuations; (10) changes in assumptions related to investment valuations, deferred policy acquisition costs, deferred sales inducements, value of business acquired or goodwill; (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) economic, political, legal, currency and other risks relating to our international operations, including with respect to fluctuations of exchange rates; (15) downgrades in our claims paying ability, financial strength or credit ratings; (16) a deterioration in the experience of the “closed block” established in connection with the reorganization of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company; (17) availability and effectiveness of reinsurance or indemnification arrangements, as well as any default or failure of counterparties to perform; (18) differences between actual claims experience and underwriting and reserving assumptions; (19) ineffectiveness of risk management policies and procedures; (20) catastrophe losses; (21) increasing cost and limited market capacity for statutory life insurance reserve financings; (22) heightened competition, including with respect to pricing, entry of new competitors, consolidation of distributors, the development of new products by new and existing competitors, and for personnel; (23) 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; (24) 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; (25) 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; (26) the dilutive impact on our stockholders resulting from the settlement of our outstanding common equity units; (27) regulatory and other restrictions affecting MetLife, Inc.'s ability to pay dividends and repurchase common stock; (28) 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; (29) the possibility that MetLife, Inc.'s Board of Directors may control the outcome of stockholder votes through the voting provisions of the MetLife Policyholder Trust; (30) changes in accounting standards, practices and/or policies; (31) increased expenses relating to pension and postretirement benefit plans, as well as health care and other employee benefits; (32) inability to protect our intellectual property rights or claims of infringement of the intellectual property rights of others; (33) inability to attract and retain sales representatives; (34) provisions of laws and our incorporation documents may delay, deter or prevent takeovers and corporate combinations involving MetLife; (35) 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 the value of our investment portfolio, our disaster recovery systems, cyber- or other information security systems and management continuity planning; (36) the effectiveness of our programs and practices in avoiding giving our associates incentives to take excessive risks; and (37) other risks and uncertainties described from time to time in MetLife, Inc.'s filings with the SEC. MetLife, Inc. does not undertake any obligation to publicly correct or update any forward-looking statement if MetLife, Inc. later becomes aware that such statement is not likely to be achieved. Please consult any further disclosures MetLife, Inc. makes on related subjects in reports to the SEC. MetLife, Inc.For Media:Christopher Breslin, 212-578-8824orFred Pieretti, 212-578-2631orFor Investors:Edward Spehar, 212-578-7888