Handshake (Image: iStock)

Sun Life Financial Inc. said today that it plans to acquire control of an outside real estate investment firm, GreenOak Real Estate, and combine that firm with its own Bentall Kennedy real estate and property management firm.

The name of the combined firm would be Bentall GreenOak.

Sun Life Financial expects to end up owning 56% of Bentall GreenOak.

Related: UBS on Hunt for Asset Management Deals)

GreenOak has about $11 billion in assets under management and nine offices.

Sun Life Financial said it expects the Bentall GreenOak management team to include executives from both Bentall Kennedy and GreenOak.

Sun Life Financial would put Bentall GreenOak in its Sun Life Investment Management unit, which now has about $45 billion in assets under management.

Dean Connor, president of Sun Life Financial, said in a statement that the company is making the deal to expand its ability to manage investments that can serve as alternatives to bonds.

Sun Life Financial expects to pay for the deal with a combination of $146 million in cash and its interest in Bentall Kennedy.

GreenOak shareholders would end up owning the interest in Bentall GreenOak that Sun Life Financial did not own, Sun Life Financial said.

Seven years after the closing, Sun Life Financial would have an option to buy the former GreenOak shareholders’ stake in Bentall GreenOak, Sun Life Financial said.

The deal also includes a provision that should let Sun Life Financial collect about 90% of Bentall GreenOak’s earnings during the seven-year period after the deal closes, Sun Life Financial said.

Berkshire Global Advisors served as the financial advisor and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP as the legal advisor to Sun Life Financial.

— Read Invesco to Acquire OppenheimerFunds From MassMutual Lifeon ThinkAdvisor.

— Connect with ThinkAdvisor Life/Health on LinkedIn and Twitter.