John Hancock Real Estate acquires landmark 150 North Michigan Avenue office tower in downtown Chicago

41-story tower is newest addition to John Hancock's US$4.3 billion real estate portfolio

TSX/NYSE/PSE: MFC    SEHK:945

 

CHICAGO, April 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - John Hancock Real Estate, the U.S. unit of Manulife Real Estate, has acquired 150 North Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago from SEB Investment GmbH, a Germany-based real estate fund manager, for US$102 million in a deal that closed Friday, April 27, 2012. Distinguished by its unique, diamond-shaped roofline and crisp white exterior, the 41-story, 661,482-square-foot office tower is one of the most identifiable buildings in Chicago's renowned city skyline.

"John Hancock has been looking for opportunities to grow its real estate investment portfolio and in the last twelve months we've successfully acquired more than US$700 million in real estate assets in several diverse markets and property types," said Kevin Adolphe, Chief Operating Officer of Manulife Financial's Investment Division and President and CEO of Manulife Real Estate. "The purchase of 150 North Michigan Avenue supports John Hancock's continuing strategy to invest in core real estate assets with solid long-term value, located in key markets throughout the United States. We are extremely pleased to add this significant asset to our portfolio mix."

150 North Michigan Avenue is located in the vibrant East Loop of Chicago's central business district, overlooking Millennium Park with expansive views of Lake Michigan, and just steps away from the city's top entertainment and recreation destinations including Chicago's famed Magnificent Mile shopping district.

Constructed in 1984, the Class-A office tower, also known as the Crain Communications Building after one of its main tenants, has been meticulously maintained, with significant capital improvements and renovations throughout the building. 150 North Michigan Avenue was also awarded the Energy Star label by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2009, 2010 and 2011, underscoring its design and energy efficiency.

"150 North Michigan Avenue is a Chicago landmark and a great example of the city's rich, architectural heritage," said Bruce Pearson, Managing Director responsible for overseeing John Hancock's real estate assets in the Midwest U.S. "Equally, it's an exceptional complement to our existing portfolio and an ideal investment property that provides us with a great opportunity to benefit from an improving real estate market in Chicago, a market that we've been actively engaged in for close to 40 years."

John Hancock Real Estate has a longstanding presence in the Chicago real estate market, reaching back to 1973. Today, the Company's real estate assets in the U.S. Midwest consist of 24 office and industrial properties totaling close to five million square feet with a market value of approximately US$600 million. In addition to 150 North Michigan Avenue, John Hancock owns and manages office properties at 191 North Wacker Drive, a 37-story office tower in the city's West Loop acquired in 2004, and Schaumburg Corporate Center, a one-million-square-foot office complex developed by the Company in three phases, between 1980 and 2003.

Jones Lang LaSalle's Capital Markets Group in Chicago acted as broker on the 150 North Michigan Avenue transaction.

About Manulife Real Estate and John Hancock Real Estate
John Hancock Real Estate is the U.S. unit of Manulife Real Estate™. As at December 31, 2011, the U.S. portfolio represented a market value of US$4.3 billion with properties totaling 19.3 million square feet in the key real estate markets of Boston, New York City Metro, Washington DC, Orlando, Atlanta, Chicago, San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Manulife Real Estate™ is the global real estate arm of Manulife Financial Corporation with fully integrated in-house capabilities and over 60 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, through its U.S. unit, John Hancock Real Estate. In addition to equity real estate, Manulife Real Estate manages the space requirements and own use facilities to accommodate Manulife Financial's 24,000-plus employees around the globe. In February 2011, Manulife Real Estate launched a new real estate fund platform, extending the benefit of its long established real estate asset management expertise to institutional investors. As at December 31, 2011, Manulife's real estate portfolio totaled 34 million square feet with a market value of C$7.9 billion (US$7.8 billion). Additional information about Manulife Real Estate can be found at manuliferealestate.com.

About Manulife Financial Corporation
Manulife Financial is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. In 2012, we celebrate 125 years of providing clients 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 Financial and its subsidiaries were C$500 billion (US$491 billion) as at December 31, 2011. The Company operates as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.

SOURCE Manulife Financial Corporation



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