Manulife buys three U.S. office properties for $618 million

TORONTO Thu Dec 19, 2013 4:28pm EST

TORONTO Dec 19 (Reuters) - John Hancock, the U.S. arm of Canadian life insurer Manulife Financial Corp, said on Thursday it has acquired three office properties worth $618 million in New York, Chicago and Boston.

With these acquisitions, Manulife said its global real estate portfolio is now worth $10.4 billion, with office and industrial properties, coupled with retail and multifamily residential properties in Canada, Asia and the United States.

The buildings acquired include a 21-story building in New York's financial district, bought from Mitsui Fudosan for $166.5 million; and a 40-story building in Chicago's central business district that it acquired from a joint venture comprised of Equity Group Investments, Pearlmark Real Estate Partners and TEIR REIT for $214.5 million.

The third asset, Wellesley Office Park, located in Greater Metropolitan Boston, was bought from an affiliate of Blackstone Group for $237 million.

Kevin Adolphe, who heads Manulife's real estate business, said the insurer continues to assess opportunities to expand its real estate portfolio.

The deal comes just weeks after Manulife announced it is expanding its private asset management business, allowing clients such as pension funds to invest in real estate and other hard assets.