John Hancock acquires 55 West Monroe, 40 story, Class "A" office building in Chicago's Central Business District

TSX/NYSE/PSE: MFC SEHK:945

BOSTON, Sept. 29, 2014 /CNW/ - John Hancock, the U.S. division of Manulife Financial Corporation, one of the largest life insurance companies in the world, announced today that it has acquired 55 West Monroe, a 40 story, 804,214 SF, Class "A" office building located in Chicago's Central Business District's Central Loop for US$244 million.

"For a property to be considered for inclusion in Manulife's global investment portfolio, it must meet a set of rigid criteria of excellence" said Kevin Adolphe, President and CEO of Manulife Real Estate.   "Among these criteria, are that the properties be core assets that provide long-term value. 55 West Monroe is consistent with those criteria and represents an excellent addition to our global presence." 

Operating as John Hancock Real Estate in the U.S. and Manulife Real Estate in all other parts of the world, the Company's real estate portfolio is diversified by both geography and asset type, consisting primarily of prime office and industrial properties, as well as select retail and multi-family residential properties, in key metropolitan centers throughout Canada, Asia and the United States. With this new acquisition, the global real estate portfolio now represents assets under management of US$10.5 billion with properties totaling more than 39 million SF. Other key markets in the United States include Los Angeles, Atlanta, Boston, San Francisco, Greater New York and Washington DC.

"The acquisition of 55 West Monroe is a terrific addition to our existing Chicago and overall U.S. portfolio" said Ted Willcocks, Global Head of Asset Management, Manulife Real Estate. "55 West Monroe fits nicely with our other Chicago properties located at 191 N. Wacker, 200 S. Wacker and 150 N. Michigan Avenue and allows for synergies in operations and leasing."

55 West Monroe, constructed in 1981, is LEED Gold Certified and located on the southwest corner of Monroe and Dearborn streets, providing access to seven CTA "L" lines. The building is 91.6 percent leased to a diversified tenant base. It was renovated in 2003 and was named office building of the year in 2007 by CBOMA. It was constructed in the modernist style and designed by renowned Chicago architect Helmut Jahn.

About Manulife Real Estate and John Hancock Real Estate
Manulife Real Estate is the global real estate arm of Manulife, operating as John Hancock Real Estate in the U.S. and Manulife Real Estate in all other parts of the world. Manulife Real Estate has fully integrated in-house capabilities and 70 years of experience as an active investor, owner, developer and asset manager of commercial real estate. Diversified by both geography and asset type, the portfolio consists primarily of prime office and industrial properties, as well as select retail and multi-family residential properties, in key metropolitan centers throughout Canada, Asia and in the United States. In addition to equity real estate, Manulife Real Estate manages the space requirements and own use facilities for Manulife's operations around the world. In 2011, Manulife Real Estate launched a new real estate fund platform, extending its real estate asset management expertise to institutional investors. As at June 30, 2014, the Manulife Real Estate portfolio totaled more than 38 million square feet with a market value of C$10.9 billion (US$10.2 billion). Additional information about Manulife Real Estate can be found at manuliferealestate.com.

About Manulife
Manulife is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Clients look to Manulife for strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients. We also provide asset management services to institutional customers. Funds under management by Manulife and its subsidiaries were approximately C$637 billion (US$597 billion) as at June 30, 2014. We operate as John Hancock in the U.S. and as Manulife in other parts of the world.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife can be found on the Internet at manulife.com

Image with caption: "John Hancock acquires 55 West Monroe, 40 story, Class “A” office building in Chicago’s Central Business District (CNW Group/Manulife Financial Corporation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140929_C1822_PHOTO_EN_6065.jpg

SOURCE: Manulife Financial Corporation

For further information: Canadian Media Contact: Bev MacLean, Manulife, 416-852-8501, Beverley_maclean@manulife.com; U.S. Media Contact: Brian Carmichael, John Hancock Financial, 617-663-4748, bcarmichael@jhancock.com

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