HTRG Acquires Alabama Timberlands

BOSTON, July 10, 2002 – Hancock Timber Resource Group (HTRG) has acquired 70,305 acres of timberland from International Paper (NYSE:IP). The transaction closed on May 31, 2002, bringing the company’s total timberland ownership in Alabama to more than 670,000 acres.

“This acquisition will enable HTRG to capitalize on future sawtimber prices in the region for our investors,” said Brent Keefer, HTRG’s southern region planner. “The property is situated in the heart of some of the strongest timber markets in the South.”

Located in the upper gulf coastal plain of southwestern Alabama, 65 percent of this highly productive property is comprised of loblolly pine plantations, with the balance being mixed pine and hardwoods.

This acquisition brings the company’s southern holdings to 1.79 million acres under management. HTRG is the world’s largest timberland investment management organization for institutional investors, with $2.5 billion and 3.1 million acres under management in North America and Australia.

Boston-based HTRG is a division of Hancock Natural Resource Group, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of John Hancock Financial Services (NYSE:JHF). John Hancock Financial Services, Inc., and its affiliated companies, including John Hancock Life Insurance Company, provide a broad array of insurance and investment products and services to retail and institutional customers. As of March 31, 2002, John Hancock and its subsidiaries had total assets under management of $125.3 billion.