Commerzbank, one of Germany’s largest banks, has confirmed that it has bought a stake in Manchester United, the English Premier League soccer champions. The bank’s statement said that Commerzbank had purchased the shares on behalf of a client, but declined to reveal the investor's identity or the size of the stake involved, although speculation in the British press places the stake at around 6 per cent, worth about €43.07 million (₤30 million, $51.6 million), and The Guardian newspaper went so far as to identify the likely buyer as Mehmet Dalman, head of the bank's London operations. If the deal and the buyer are confirmed as such, it would make Dalman one of the largest shareholders in Manchester United. As a result of the news, shares in the club reached a three-year high, rising 4 percent to 259 pence, approaching the highest closing price for the stock since October 2000. The share price has soared from 105 pence at the start of the year.