November 24, 1999, SANTA ANA, Calif.

The First American Financial Corporation (NYSE: FAF), the nation's leading provider of business information and related products and services, today announced that its largest subsidiary, First American Title Insurance Company, has acquired Florida-based Crystal River Title Company from owner Kenneth MacKay III. Terms of the acquisition, which closed Nov. 1, 1999, were not disclosed.

This acquisition marks the second purchase of a title company from MacKay by First American. In June 1998, the company purchased Florida Title & Abstract Company in Marion County, Fla., from MacKay, who served as its president since 1989. Since joining First American, MacKay has been serving as vice president-area manager of Marion County. With the addition of Crystal River Title, MacKay's responsibilities now include managing First American's title operations in Citrus County.

"Not only does this acquisition give First American a presence in Citrus County, but it also complements our August acquisition of Omni Title of Pasco, further expanding the company's national network of title branches," said Gary L. Kermott, president of First American Title Insurance Company. "In addition, Crystal River Title also possesses the county's only title plant, with more than 100,000 records dating back to the late 1800s. It has a completely computerized, 30-year name index and its land records have been computerized since 1997.

"First American's strategy is to develop the largest and most integrated database of property information in the nation," Kermott continued. "Our Smart Title Solutions subsidiary is the largest owner of title indexes with more than 450 million records, and our Data Tree subsidiary is the largest repository of imaged recorded title documents with over 600 million records. This acquisition, with its definitive collection of title records added to First American's existing property database, brings us closer to our goal of offering a fully automated, centralized title searching capability."

Crystal River Title, which is headquartered in Crystal River, Fla., also has two additional offices in Citrus County: one in Beverly Hills and another in Inverness. The company will operate as Crystal River Title, a First American branch, with MacKay overseeing operations. David Roberts, who served as president of the company, will remain with Crystal River Title in a consulting and advisory capacity.

Crystal River Title was founded in 1976 by David Roberts and the late Jack Geisinger, two local businessmen. In 1997, the firm was merged with Citrus Title, a title operation with a 78-year history of service in the Citrus County area.

The First American Financial Corporation, based in Santa Ana, Calif., is the nation's leading provider of business information and related products and services. The corporation's three primary business segments include: title insurance; real estate information and services, which includes mortgage origination, mortgage servicing and database products and services; and consumer information and services, which provides home warranties; property and casualty insurance; automotive, subprime and direct-to-consumer credit reporting; property and automotive insurance tracking services; resident screening; pre-employment screening; lender-placed flood and hazard insurance; investment advisory; and trust and banking services. Through its family of companies, First American Financial has nearly 20,000 employees in more than 600 branch offices in the United States and abroad. Information about the company and an archive of its press releases can be found on the Internet at


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