Three New Mexico companies acquired by First American


July 8, 1996, SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA

The First American Financial Corporation (NYSE: FAF) announced today that its principal subsidiary, First American Title Insurance Company, has substantially enhanced its operations in New Mexico by the purchase of three companies. First American Title has acquired Sterling Title Company of Sandoval County in Rio Rancho, as well as purchasing an 80 percent interest in both Territorial Abstract & Title Company, Inc., in Santa Fe and Territorial Escrow Services, Inc., in Cedar Crest.

Sterling Title has been a First American agent since 1970. Rio Rancho is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, outpacing any other city in New Mexico. Sterling was purchased from Carla Pfeiffer, who has 20 years of experience and will continue to run the business. The rest of the staff will also remain.

Territorial Abstract was the second largest independent agent in the state. Territorial Escrow, a wholly owned subsidiary of Territorial Abstract, is a closing office which serves southern Santa Fe County, eastern Bernalillo County and Torrance County. Both companies were purchased from Dan Terrell, who will remain as president and also manage Territorial Abstract. Becky Thompson will continue to manage Territorial Escrow.

Dan Terrell is very active in the New Mexico Land Title Association. He is a past president and currently serves as chairman of the Legislative Committee. He and his wife Patty are long-time residents of Santa Fe. According to Terrell, First American is not only the largest underwriter in gross premiums written, but has fun and caring people. "They are not overburdened with bureaucracy and will rely on us to take care of our duties here in Santa Fe," Terrell said.

State Manager Ernie Phillips said that with these acquisitions, First American will continue its growth in New Mexico. "We will assist the new companies with added strength, security and service," Phillips said. "They will in turn add to our market share and our presence in the state. All three of the companies have a wealth of First American-type people. We're pleased to be affiliated with them."

The First American Financial Corporation, based in Santa Ana, California, is the nation's leading provider of real estate-related financial and informational services. The corporation's subsidiaries include First American Title Insurance Company, a national and international title insurer, First American Real Estate Information Services, Inc., which offers tax monitoring, credit reporting, flood certification, mortgage loan servicing systems and property information services nationally, and First American Home Buyers Protection Corporation, a home warranty company. The corporation also operates First American Trust Company and First Security Thrift Company in Southern California. First American Financial has over 10,000 employees in over 400 branch offices in the United States and abroad.

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