NEW YORK - The Federal Reserve Board has given Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce permission to buy shares of Juniper Financial Corp. and eventually acquire control of the Wilmington, Del., parent of Juniper Bank, an online bank that deals primarily in credit cards.

The application, filed June 21 at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, stated that CIBC plans to pay $95 million for 66,433,567 shares, or 95%, of Juniper Financial's Series C preferred stock, convertible to a 40% stake in Juniper Financial's common stock.

In the application, which was approved by the Fed late last week, the Toronto banking company also said it ultimately intends to buy a 51% stake in Juniper Financial.

Susan McDougall, a spokeswoman at CIBC, said that it has yet to buy the Juniper Financial stock. "The approval is one step of many," she said. "We're exploring this as an investment opportunity."

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