MetLife Inc.'s recent purchase of the Reynolds Plantation, a posh lakeside golf and resort development in Georgia, is the latest sign that the insurer is back in the acquisition game.
MetLife paid about $160 million in equity and assumed debt for the Reynolds Plantation, which was acquired out of receivership, people familiar with the property said.
The deal raises MetLife's acquisition volume this year to a postcrisis peak of $820 million. That is below the recent annual peak volume of $1.2 billion in 2005 but up from $259 million for all of last year, according to research firm Real Capital Analytics.
"We like what we're seeing," said Robert Merck, global head of real-estate investments for MetLife, who declined to comment on expected returns from the Reynolds transaction. "You get decent income, especially compared with what you can get on fixed-income assets in this low-rate environment."
"They're starved for yield like everyone else so they need to venture out further on the risk curve and get back into buying," said Ben Carlos Thypin, director of market analysis at Real Capital Analytics, a New York real-estate-research firm.
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Ben Carlos Thypin
I am currently the co-founder of Quantierra, the world's first data driven real estate brokerage and investment manager. In my former life as Director of Market Analysis at Real Capital Analytics, I worked with press outlets large and small to provide them with great data and insightful commentary. Here are some of the results of this collaboration. For the rest, please check out the News Archive.
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