Canadian bank acquires majority stake in FirstCaribbean International

Toronto, Canada, June 30, 2006 – The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has acquired another 43.7 percent ownership stake in the FirstCaribbean International Bank.

A company statement said the stakes were bought from Barclays Bank for approximately US$1.08 billion and are expected to take effect by the end of 2006.

Once it is completed, CIBC will own a whopping 87.4 of FirstCaribbean, with the remaining shares held by regional investors.

FirstCaribbean, which is listed on the Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and the Eastern Caribbean Stock Exchanges, is the largest regionally- listed bank in the English-speaking Caribbean, with assets of over US$9.6 billion and a market capitalization of over US$3.3 billion.

CIBC’s history in the Caribbean dates to 1920. In 2002, CIBC acquired its current ownership stake in FirstCaribbean when its Caribbean operations were merged with those of Barclays to form FirstCaribbean.

CIBC’s President and CEO Gerry McCaughey, in commenting on the buy-out, said: “We look forward to working with the management and employees of FirstCaribbean to build on the excellent foundation they have created since this bank was established nearly four years ago.”

Naguib Kheraj, Group Finance Director of Barclays PLC, added, “This transaction leaves FirstCaribbean well positioned for its future development. While the combination of Barclays and CIBC’s Caribbean retail banking assets created value for all stakeholders, the future strategy of FirstCaribbean is now best pursued with one controlling shareholder.”

 

FirstCaribbean has over 3,400 staff, 100 branches and banking centres, and offices in 17 countries comprising: Anguilla, Antigua, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, The British Virgin Islands, The Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Maarten, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago and The Turks & Caicos Islands. The bank has approximately 780,000 active accounts. It has maintained an “A-Stable” rating by Standard & Poor’s from FirstCaribbean’s inception in 2002, the highest rating of any commercial bank in the Caribbean Community.

Barclays PLC is a major global financial services provider engaged in retail and commercial banking, credit cards, investment banking, wealth management and investment management services.

CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with more than 11 million personal banking and business customers. (Hardbeatnews.com)


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