The First American Financial Corporation acquires two national companies serving ...


December 12, 1994, SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA

The First American Financial Corporation (NYSE: FAF) announced today the signing of definitive agreements for the acquisition of a national mortgage credit reporting company and, in a separate transaction, the purchase of a nationwide flood certification company for a combined purchase price of $32 million in cash and notes.

Credco, Inc., purchased from U.S. Bancorp, a bank holding company based in Portland, Oregon, is one of only three national mortgage credit reporting companies in the United States. Mortgage credit reporting companies provide credit information to mortgage lenders based upon credit data derived from at least two credit bureau sources. The information is summarized on a single form for use by loan originators, mortgage bankers and secondary market loan purchasers.

First American has purchased three regional credit reporting companies in the last two years, including the 1994 purchases of Calcred in San Diego and Prime Credit in Northern California. Combining the Credco operations with existing operations will make First American the second largest mortgage credit reporting company in the United States.

Credco's current president and chief operating officer, Donald Robert, will continue in the role of president. Prior to being chosen as Credco chief operating officer in 1993, Robert was a vice president of another U.S. Bancorp operation. His experience includes developing an electronic real estate and auto loan-origination network and facilitating the development and implementation of a sophisticated automated credit scoring system.

In a separate transaction, First American purchased Flood Data Services, Inc. (FDSI), based in Austin, Texas, from a group led by the company's founder and chief operating officer, Don Craven. Craven developed the concept of a national flood certification service in 1987, and created the FloodCert® architecture, which provides on-line, real-time access to FDSI's national database of property flood zone determinations.

President Randall Poliner has an extensive background in high technology and growth companies, including Macrodyne, Scientific Systems Services, JRL Systems, BancWest Bancorp, and Outback Steakhouse and is active on the boards of directors of a diverse list of organizations. He was named president of the company in 1993. Craven is the principal operational founder of FDSI, and has remained active throughout its growth. Craven and Poliner will maintain their current positions.

FDSI furnishes flood zone determination reports to mortgage lenders which provide the lender with information on whether or not a property is in a governmentally delineated Special Flood Hazard Area. Federal legislation passed in 1994 requires that loan originators obtain a determination of the current flood zone status of the mortgaged property and provide for status updates for the life of the loan. FDSI is the largest flood zone determination provider in the country.

"This is a banner day for First American," said Parker S. Kennedy, president of First American Financial. "Credco and FDSI add substantial value to our mortgage-related information services. We are now a significant nationwide provider of most mortgage-related products, including title insurance, tax service, mortgage credit reporting, and flood determination reporting."

John Long, president of First American Real Estate Information Service, Inc., oversees the tax service and credit reporting divisions and will direct the Credco and FDSI operations. "These acquisitions will greatly enhance our ability to provide a complete portfolio of services to the mortgage industry for a single fee," Long said. "We are the first company to provide a full menu of services and products to real property buyers and mortgage lenders."

Both transactions will close in early January 1995.

The First American Financial Corporation, based in Santa Ana, California, is a leading provider of real estate financial services, including title insurance, tax monitoring, home warranty, credit reporting and property information services, to real property buyers and mortgage lenders. The company also operates a trust and banking business in Southern California. The company offers its title services through a network of more than 300 offices and 4,000 agents throughout the United States. It also provides title services abroad in the Bahama Islands, Bermuda, Canada, Guam, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the United Kingdom.

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