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Metlife's investment arm agrees to acquire Raven Capital Management

FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen on the MetLife Inc building in Manhattan, New York

By Chibuike Oguh

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The investment arm of insurance giant Metlife Inc said on Tuesday it had agreed to acquire Raven Capital Management, a U.S. private credit manager with $2.1 billion in assets under management.

Raven would operate as a private credit division under Metlife Investment Management (MIM), Nancy Mueller Handal, MIM's global head of private fixed income and alternatives told Reuters. She declined to disclose terms of the deal.

Raven Capital, which was founded in 2008 by former Merrill Lynch executive Josh Green, specializes in middle market asset-based financing as well as outright purchase of cash-yielding investments, such as music royalties, real estate, and even films. Most of Raven Capital's loans are higher-yielding private credit, Handal said.

"Our private credit investment capabilities was the one area where we needed more higher-yielding capabilities to meet the needs of our clients, and Raven is a good fit because their asset-based lending model fits really nicely to what we're doing," Handal said.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of this year.

MIM invests the capital generated by Metlife and other institutional investors, including endowments, foundations, pension funds, insurance companies, and sovereign wealth funds. The company has $571 billion in assets under management spread across mortgage loans, government and corporate bonds, private equity, infrastructure and structured credit.

(This story has been corrected to remove investment-grade ratings in paragraph 3)

(Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York; Editing by Bradley Perrett)