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CIBC To Acquire U.S. Energy Advisory Firm Griffis & Small, LLC

TORONTO and HOUSTON, Aug. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire Griffis & Small, LLC, a Houston-based energy advisory firm specializing in acquisitions and divestitures (A&D) in the exploration and production (E&P) sector. Terms were not disclosed.

The transaction, expected to close in the fourth quarter, supports CIBC's strategy of targeted growth in businesses and geographies where it has strong existing client relationships and capabilities. The acquisition will also create opportunities to serve new and existing Wholesale Banking clients in the U.S., and complements our energy-focused teams in Calgary, the U.K. and Asia. At the same time, it will provide Griffis & Small's clients with access to the same outstanding team they work with today, backed by a broader range of investment banking, corporate lending and capital markets services from CIBC.

"This acquisition will strategically expand our advisory capabilities and U.S. footprint," said Geoff Belsher, Managing Director and Group Co-Head of Wholesale Banking at CIBC. "It also complements our oil and gas activities globally including in Calgary where we provide full-service advisory and financing solutions to energy companies.  The acquisition is well-aligned to our overall corporate strategy and will enable us to add further value to our clients in a region and industry that we know well."

The business will operate under the name CIBC Griffis & Small and will be led by the founding partners of Griffis & Small, LLC, Richard Griffis and Joe Small, who have joined CIBC as part of the transaction.

"CIBC's financial strength, combined with its M&A and capital markets advisory, corporate lending and capabilities in foreign exchange, fixed income, commodities, equities and research presents tremendous value to our clients," said Mr. Griffis.  "We are excited about joining the exceptional team at CIBC and further building our client relationships."

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