First American Financial enters into agreement to purchase Ohio Bar Title Insurance Company

November 30, 1998, SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA

The First American Financial Corporation (NYSE: FAF), the nation's leading provider of real estate-related financial and information services, announced today that it has entered into an agreement to purchase Ohio Bar Title Insurance Company. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of January 1999, following receipt of regulatory approvals and satisfaction of other closing conditions.

Ohio Bar Title is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, and will continue to serve Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois.

Ohio Bar Title will provide First American with an expanded base of agents and seasoned title employees with which to penetrate new markets and increase market share.

Noting First American's national presence, financial strength and innovative approach to being a full-service provider to the marketplace, William T. Margiotta Jr., president and chief executive officer of Ohio Bar Title, who has also announced his retirement, stated, "This transaction is intended to take advantage of synergies and resources to provide an even stronger base for our business."

Ohio Bar Title was incorporated in 1953 and began operations in 1955 in Dayton, Ohio. The company's corporate headquarters remained in Dayton until 1985 when it was moved to Columbus, Ohio. The Ohio State Bar Foundation retained ownership of the company from the date of incorporation. Previously, 100 percent of Ohio Bar Title's common stock was held by the Ohio State Bar Foundation.

The First American Financial Corporation, based in Santa Ana, California, 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 services, 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 California. 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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