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Marketwire

December 22, 2006 11:35 ET

Private Equity Group Takes Ownership of CCNMatthews, a Leading North American Newswire

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 22, 2006) - OMERS Capital Partners, the private equity arm of one of Canada's largest pension funds, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire CCNMatthews, a leading distributor of news releases, multimedia content and photos to the media and investment communities worldwide, in an all-cash deal. In addition, Manulife Capital, the private equity group of Manulife Financial, will assume a minority stake in the newswire as a portfolio investment.

"This change of ownership is a major milestone for CCNMatthews and is strategic to our future as we accelerate our expansion," said Michael Nowlan, President and CEO of CCNMatthews. "OMERS and Manulife's acquisition of CCNMatthews signals strong confidence in our company and our employees. CCNMatthews is one of the fastest-growing brands in the newswire and information distribution industry, and we are very proud to have such solid financial partners supporting our growth."

CCNMatthews is the parent company of Market Wire, a full-service distributor of company press releases and material news in the United States. CCNMatthews and its subsidiaries will continue to operate independently under the new ownership structure.

"We view CCNMatthews and Market Wire as industry leaders delivering exceptional financial results. The opportunity they represent is consistent with our strategy to invest in strong, well-managed businesses with the potential to grow," said Paul G. Renaud, president and CEO, OMERS Capital Partners.

About OMERS

OMERS is one of Canada's largest pension plans, with more than $41 billion in assets under management. It provides retirement benefits to about 365,000 members on behalf of approximately 900 local government employers across Ontario. More information about OMERS is available online at http://www.omers.com.

About Manulife Financial

Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 19 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily through John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients 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$381 billion (US$341 billion) as at September 30, 2006.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '0945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at www.manulife.com.

About CCNMatthews and Market Wire

CCNMatthews delivers news releases, multimedia content and photos to the media and investment communities around the world quickly and reliably. The Company and its U.S. subsidiary Market Wire serve more than 6,000 corporate, government, non-profit, union and association clients, and boast one of the largest media distribution footprints in North America. CCNMatthews offers the most secure and cost-effective distribution of real-time news to thousands of media outlets including AP, Dow Jones, Bloomberg, Reuters, Yahoo!, and MSNBC, and is the only news release distributor to offer direct access to the CP (Canadian Press) Wire Network and the CP picture distribution wire across Canada.

Committed to world-class client service, industry-leading distribution, technology innovation and market-leading strategic relationships, the Company serves PR and IR professionals with key workflow solutions including Easy PR/IR, SEO, Listlogix, and more.

Incorporated in Canada in 1982, CCNMatthews delivers the majority of news releases issued by publicly traded companies in Canada. For more, visit www.ccnmatthews.com and www.marketwire.com.

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