CIBC said Monday that it will buy majority control of FirstCaribbean International Bank in a $1.08 billion US deal with Barclays Bank PLC.

CIBC (TSX:CM) said it has signed a non-binding agreement to buy Barclays' 43.7 per cent stake in FirstCaribbean at $1.62 US per share. The deal would give CIBC an 87.4 per cent stake in FirstCaribbean.

With more than $9.6 billion US in assets, FirstCaribbean is the largest regionally listed bank in the English-speaking Caribbean. The bank has more than 100 outlets and offices in 17 countries in the region.

CIBC acquired its initial 43.7 per cent stake in FirstCaribbean when its operations in the region were merged with those of Barclays in 2002 to form FirstCaribbean.

The deal is expected to be completed by late 2006, CIBC said.

"With its established retail, wealth management, corporate and capital markets businesses, FirstCaribbean is an excellent fit for CIBC and is well-positioned for long-term success in a region that we believe has attractive growth prospects," Gerry McCaughey, CIBC's president and CEO, said in a statement.

Shares of CIBC slipped 62 cents to close at $83.78 on the TSX.