The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company is to develop a new headquarters in Montreal with Ivanhoé Cambridge to accommodate its acquisition of Standard Life’s Canadian business.

The Canadian insurer has entered a joint venture with the pension fund subsidiary to build the 900 de Maisonneuve West skyscraper.

Manulife will occupy 260,000sqft of space over 11 floors, representing more than half of the 27-storey office building.

The announcement comes soon after it was revealed that Manulife had agreed to buy UK insurer Standard Life’s Canadian business. IP Real Estate reported last month that the acquisition could have implications for the Canadian real estate arm of Standard Life Investments.

More than 2000 employees located in different Manulife and Standard Life properties in Montreal will eventually join the new headquarters.

The development project, which is expected to start next year, is dependent on the approval of Standard Life shareholders and Canadian regulatory authorities.

Kevin Adolphe, president and CEO of Manulife Real Estate, said: “The addition of this world-class office tower in Montreal reinforces our commitment to growth in Quebec and complements our existing portfolio nicely.”

Daniel Fournier, chairman and CEO of Ivanhoé Cambridge, a subsidiary of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, said the deal would “accomplish one of the cornerstone objectives of our plan for downtown Montreal”.