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2009 News Releases

For Immediate Release

December 1, 2009

Manulife Financial to acquire EDC headquarters building in Ottawa

Ottawa - Manulife Financial has entered into an agreement to purchase the new headquarters building of Export Development Canada (EDC) in downtown Ottawa from a joint venture of Broccolini Construction Inc. and The Canderel Group of Companies. The transaction is scheduled to close at the end of 2011, following completion of the 18-storey, 479,000 square foot building which is being developed by the Broccolini / Canderel partnership.

“Manulife has been looking for opportunities to expand its real estate holdings and we are extremely pleased to be able to secure this prime asset in Ottawa’s downtown core,” said Stephani Kingsmill, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Manulife’s Real Estate Division. “The building is an excellent complement to Manulife’s existing portfolio of high-quality properties in strong, diverse regions across North America and Asia.”

Construction of the building began in May 2009 when EDC, a Canadian crown corporation, selected the Broccolini / Canderel site for its new headquarters following a rigorous and competitive bidding process. EDC, which is consolidating its operations from two neighbouring buildings, will occupy 100 per cent of the building’s office space under a long-term lease which will extend to 2031.

"EDC's new headquarters will bring many benefits to the corporation and its employees, including lower operating costs, leading edge environmental considerations and a state-of-the-art work space," said Eric Siegel, President and CEO of Export Development Canada. "Broccolini and Canderel have created an exceptional building and we are thrilled to add Manulife’s reputation as an owner of quality real estate assets to the long list of benefits.”

Located at the corner of Slater and O’Connor streets, 150 Slater Street is the largest new office development project in downtown Ottawa in 25 years.

"We are very excited about the opportunity to add this innovative and environmentally sustainable landmark to the skyline of Canada's capital," said Anthony Broccolini, Managing Director of Broccolini Construction. "We are committed to delivering a first-class, prestigious structure that will set a new standard for office towers in the city.”

Clad in a metal and glass curtainwall, 150 Slater Street features several distinctive structural elements, including a defined lower podium that blends with the streetscape and a two-storey roof-top terrace. LEED Gold certification for environmental sustainability is being targeted for the project.

"This is a signature project for everyone involved and Canderel is proud to be part of the development team,” said Jonathan Wener, Chairman of Canderel. “This transaction reflects both the quality of the project and the positive outlook on the Ottawa marketplace by the institutional investment community.”

150 Slater Street provides Manulife with a superb property, tenanted by a strong crown corporation in EDC, on one of the last remaining development sites in Ottawa’s downtown core,” said Stephen Nicoletti, Assistant Vice President and Regional Director for Manulife’s Eastern Canada portfolio which includes properties in Ottawa and Montreal. “It’s an ideal long-term investment for Manulife.”

Manulife owns four other properties in Ottawa, including Manulife Place at 55 Metcalfe Street which the company developed in 1987.

About Broccolini Construction Inc.
Founded in 1949, Broccolini Construction Inc. is distinguished as a single-source provider of real estate development and construction services in the industrial, commercial and institutional markets in Quebec and Ontario. With a belief that satisfied clients are the Company’s greatest assets, Broccolini prides itself on acting as a trusted partner to its clients on all facets of their projects, from conceptual design to final occupancy.

Broccolini Construction is a family-run business with $250 million dollars in annual revenues and a team of more than 100 professionals. Broccolini is committed to forging relationships that last as long and stand as strong as the structures it builds. The Company’s reputation is founded on core values of honesty, pride, collaboration and diligence and a rare combination of professional expertise and personalized service. For more information, visit www.broccolini.com.

About The Canderel Group of Companies
The Canderel Group of Companies is comprised of several fully integrated, commercial real estate companies with its headquarters in Montreal. Since 1975, Canderel has grown to become one of the most successful real estate development and management organizations in eastern Canada.

Founded by Jonathan Wener, Canderel has established an enviable reputation for its integrity as a company and for its sound judgment and knowledge of the commercial, multi-residential and industrial real estate business. Over the years, Canderel has been intimately involved in all aspects of commercial property development, including land assembly, acquisition and disposal, planning, design, construction, project management, leasing, finance, and property and asset management.

The group's principal development activities are in the office, commercial, industrial and residential markets of Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver, in Canada. Canderel's success to date is largely a reflection of its unique ability to direct, integrate and manage all facets of the real estate business, either on its own behalf, for its clients, or in joint venture with partners. For more information, visit www.canderel.com.

About Export Development Canada (EDC)
EDC is Canada’s export credit agency, offering innovative commercial solutions to help Canadian exporters and investors expand their international business. EDC’s knowledge and partnerships are used by more than 8,300 Canadian companies and their global customers in up to 200 markets worldwide each year. EDC is financially self-sustaining, a recognized leader in financial reporting and economic analysis, and has been recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for nine consecutive years. For more information, visit www.edc.ca.

About Manulife Financial's Real Estate Division
Through its Real Estate Division, Manulife Financial is actively involved in the ownership, development and management of commercial real estate. The portfolio includes a diversified mix of prime office and industrial properties in key metropolitan centres throughout Canada, the United States and Asia. In addition to equity real estate, the Real Estate Division manages Manulife Financial’s space requirements and own use facilities to accommodate the Company’s more than 23,500 employees worldwide. As at September 30, 2009, Manulife Financial’s real estate portfolio totals 29.2 million square feet and represents a carrying value of Cdn$6.0 billion (US$5.5 billion).

About Manulife Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 22 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily through John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers customers a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$437 billion (US$407 billion) as at September 30, 2009.

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 www.manulife.com.

 

Media Contacts:

 Tina Acranis
Real Estate Division
Manulife Financial
416-926-5746
tina_acranis@manulife.com

 Phil Taylor
Corporate Communications
Export Development Canada
613-598-2904
ptaylor@edc.ca

Jonathan Wener
Chairman
Canderel Group of Companies
514-842-8636
wenerj@canderel.com

Anthony Broccolini
Managing Director
Broccolini Construction Inc.
613-244-0076
anthony@broccolini.com

Manulife Financial has entered into an agreement to purchase 150 Slater Street, the new EDC headquarters building in downtown Ottawa. The transaction is scheduled to close at the end of 2011, following completion of the 18-storey, 479,000 square foot building by Broccolini Construction Inc. and The Canderel Group of Companies.