MetLife Investment Management Provides Financing for $625 Million Southern U.S. Timberland Transaction

Posted on 02/14/2022

MetLife Investment Management (MIM), the institutional asset management business of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), has placed long-term, first mortgage loans secured by approximately 832,000 acres of timberland and timber across the Southeastern United States. The financing allows Tamarack Timberlands LLC, which is owned by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and whose assets are managed by Resource Management Service, LLC, to complete a $625 million redemption transaction and assume direct ownership of its timberland assets in the U.S. South. Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board completed a redemption transaction to assume the direct ownership of approximately 870,000 acres of loblolly pine forest spread throughout the southern United States. Ontario Teachers’ has invested in these timberland assets indirectly since 2006. The newly-completed transaction will give Tamarack Timberlands full control and governance of the assets.

“This milestone transaction is the result of working closely with the borrower to align long-term operational goals with long-term financing needs,” said Robert Merck, Global Head of Real Estate and Agriculture at MetLife Investment Management. “The deal highlights MetLife Investment Management’s commitment to financing borrowers who sustainably provide lumber and agricultural products.”

All forest assets in the transaction are third-party certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s (SFI) forest management standards. As a result, the financial returns are complementary to Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) outcomes. The approach supports the protection of biodiversity, water and soil resources while contributing to climate change mitigation.

MIM’s Agricultural Strategies Group includes a team of loan officers with an average of 16 years’ experience in agricultural, agribusiness and timberland financing. The unit has regional offices in Germantown, Tenn., Overland Park, Kansas and Fresno, California.

Keywords: Ontario Teachers Pension Plan.

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