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Commerzbank to acquire institutional investor's stake in comdirect

Commerzbank AG is on course to take full control of unit comdirect bank AG after clinching a deal to purchase a block of shares in the digital lender.

The German banking group said it will acquire an equity stake in comdirect from U.K.-based institutional investor Petrus Advisers LLP through Commerzbank Inlandsbanken Holding GmbH. The purchase price for the stake was not disclosed.

Following completion of the acquisition, Commerzbank's stake in comdirect will increase to more than 90%, giving it the legal right to squeeze out the online broker's shareholders.

Commerzbank CEO Martin Zielke said the integration of comdirect is a key component of the group's new strategy, adding that the stake increase is "an important step to quickly and efficiently execute the integration of our successful direct banking subsidiary and realize significant synergies."

The announcement comes days after Bloomberg News reported, citing sources, that Commerzbank was in advanced talks to acquire Petrus Advisers' 7.5% stake in comdirect.

Commerzbank, which currently holds a roughly 82% stake in comdirect, previously tried to take over the entire company by offering to acquire the remaining stake it does not own but failed after only a few investors agreed to sell.