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MetLife To Sell Sears Tower

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NU Online News Service, March 11, 2004, 6:02 p.m. EST – MetLife Inc., New York, says an affiliate may be selling the tallest building in North America.[@@]

The affiliate, Metropolitan Insurance and Annuity Company, has executed a contract to sell the 110-story Sears Tower, which is located in Chicago, MetLife says.

The sale would bring MetLife a gain of about $90 million but have no material effect on operating earnings, the company says.

MetLife hopes to complete the deal by June 30.

MetLife took control of the tower from Trizec Properties Inc., Chicago, a real estate investment trust, for $9 million in August 2003.

Trizec began managing the tower in 1997 and continues to act as the tower’s property manager and leasing agent. One of Trizec’s predecessor companies, TrizecHahn, acquired a second mortage on the tower in 1997. If Trizec had kept the tower and the second mortgage, it would have had to assume $766 million in tower mortgage debt, according to a release Trizec put out in August 2003.