First American Financial acquires Illinois-based Midwest Title Insurance, Inc.

December 24, 1998, SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA

The First American Financial Corporation (NYSE: FAF), the leading provider of real estate-related financial and information services, announced today that it has purchased Midwest Title Insurance, Inc., from George Edwards and Wally Gorski. Terms of the acquisition, which was completed on December 1, 1998, were not disclosed.

Midwest Title, which has a total of five offices in Madison and St. Clair, has operated in the Illinois portion of the Greater St. Louis Metropolitan Area since 1975. The company does business in the counties of Bond, Calhoun, Clinton, Effingham, Jefferson, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington.

"The acquisition of Midwest Title will enhance our presence in the St. Louis Metro East and other downstate Illinois areas," stated James M. Costello, regional vice president for First American. "Not only will the acquisition put First American in the top position in a stable yet expanding market, but a local presence in southern Illinois should increase our acceptance by downstate customers, complementing our other recent acquisitions in the Illinois area."

Gorski, former president of Midwest Title, who now serves as regional sales manager for First American, added: "We are very excited about the acquisition, which gives us the opportunity to expand further into southern Illinois, and offers increased security for our staff. Also, the technology resources that will be available to us will greatly enhance our already excellent efficiency."

The First American Financial Corporation, based in Santa Ana, Calif., is the nation's leading provider of real estate-related financial and information 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, property data services, flood certification, field inspection services, appraisal services, loss mitigation, mortgage loan origination and servicing systems, and mortgage document preparation nationally; First American Home Buyers Protection Corporation, a home warranty company; and First American Capital Management, an investment advisory firm. The corporation also operates First American Trust Company and First Security Thrift Company in Southern Calif. First American Financial has more than 17,000 employees in over 400 branch offices in the United States and abroad. Information about the company's subsidiaries and an archive of its press releases can be found on the Internet at


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