Sun Life Unit Nears Deal to Buy Montreal Tower From Caisse

(Bloomberg) -- Bentall Kennedy LP, the real estate unit of Canadian insurer Sun Life Financial Inc., is close to a deal to buy the tallest office tower in Montreal from Ivanhoe Cambridge Inc., according to a person familiar with the plans.

The building at 1000 De La Gauchetière is located in the heart of downtown, close to the city bus terminal and train station. The deal hasn’t been completed yet, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. Royal Bank of Canada is handling the sale, the person said. The price wasn’t disclosed.

Ivanhoe Cambridge, a unit of Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec -- Canada’s second-biggest pension fund -- declined to comment on the deal as did RBC. Bentall Kennedy didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The building was completed in 1992 and a key feature is an atrium that holds a large ice skating rink. The 51-story skyscraper has been on the market for more than a year.

Sun Life announced in December that it would merge Bentall Kennedy with New York-based GreenOak Real Estate and buy a majority stake in the combined firm, to be dubbed Bentall GreenOak. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of this year.

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