First American Acquires Four Title Companies in First Quarter of 2000


April 18, 2000, 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 during the first quarter of 2000, its largest subsidiary, First American Title Insurance Company, acquired five title companies in Florida, Michigan and Texas. The title company purchases increased First American's direct operations by 52 offices and added more than 4 million records to its national network of title information.

"The acquisitions in Florida, Michigan and Texas enable us to better service our national clients by giving us an expanded presence in these key markets," said Gary L. Kermott, president of First American Title Insurance Company. "The title plant data acquired through these purchases brings us a step closer to our goal of ultimately centralizing and automating our title searching processes, increasing efficiencies and improving operating margins."

The acquisitions added more than a dozen, fully integrated title plants with approximately 4 million property records, which will be combined with the 450 million records already in the primary databases of First American's Smart Title Solutions subsidiary, the nation's largest owner of title indexes, and the more than 700 million records in the database of First American's Data Tree subsidiary, the nation's largest repository of imaged recorded title documents.

In March, the company acquired Dentex Title Company in Denton County, Texas, complementing First American's Fort Worth Division. The acquisition, which added three new offices, increased the company's market share in Denton County and included a computerized title plant comprised of more than 2,750,000 records dating to 1872.

The company's acquisition of Charter Title Company, Inc. in Monroe County, Fla., in February, gives First American more than 111 direct offices in the state of Florida, as well as an exclusive presence in Key Largo's Ocean Reef community.

Earlier in February, the company added North American Title Inc. to its holdings in Michigan. The acquisition, located in Troy, Mich., has been merged with the southeast Michigan operations of First American Title in Macomb, Monroe, Oakland and Wayne counties, making this one of First American's largest combined operations.

In January, the company acquired Associated Land Title Group and Bay County Abstract, which together have 47 offices located throughout the Florida panhandle. The acquisition adds offices throughout the state of Florida and expands First American's national network of direct title offices. In addition, both companies have more than a dozen, well-integrated title plants across the state, adding more than 1.5 million title records to First American's national network of title information. Moreover, the company's three-county consolidated title plant in Panama City is computerized using an Oracle-based database system developed by Ray Crisp, president of Bay County.

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 and services; real estate information and services, which includes mortgage information services and database information and services; and consumer information and services, which provides home warranties; automotive, subprime and direct-to-consumer credit reporting; property and casualty insurance; property and automotive insurance tracking services; resident screening; pre-employment screening; investment advisory; and trust and banking services. Information about the company and an archive of its press releases can be found on the Internet at www.firstam.com.

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