First American Acquires Interest In Business-To-Business Provider Of Automotive Data


February 22, 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 it has acquired a minority interest in VINtek, Inc., a leading Internet provider of business-to-business automotive data fulfillment services to automotive e-retailers, finance companies, state motor vehicle agencies and other auto industry related companies.

VINtek, based in Philadelphia, provides valuable Internet business-to-business services involving the identification, titling and valuation of motor vehicles. VINtek 's services provide automotive e-commerce companies with the ability to finalize the purchase of a vehicle sold on the Internet. These services are becoming increasingly critical to automotive e-lenders, e-commerce entities and governmental agencies. 

"First American's investment in VINtek represents a critical advancement of our automotive information strategy," stated Don A. Robert, president of First American Consumer Information and Services Group. "Moreover, we are thoroughly convinced that VINtek's technology and product services will soon be critical for anyone seeking to prosper in the automotive-related e-lending and e-retailing arenas." This is another step in a directed effort by First American to be the leading business-to-business outsource service provider to the automotive finance and e-commerce communities. 

Parker S. Kennedy, president of The First American Financial Corporation, stated: "We want to provide a complete menu of products and services to the automotive lending and leasing community, just as we have done for the residential real estate lending industry. The addition of VINtek to our portfolio perfectly augments our automotive credit reporting, subprime consumer information and insurance tracking businesses, by allowing auto lenders and retailers to now deal with First American in a multiproduct distribution fashion. It also manifests our growing investment in e-commerce and the direction that our company is going to become the preeminent provider of third-party services to businesses selling vehicles over the Internet." 

VINtek president Larry Highbloom expressed his company's interest in adding First American as a strategic investor and business partner. "First American's investment in VINtek will provide additional equity to accelerate our efforts to become the premier provider of Internet-based automotive data fulfillment services in the United States. It also accelerates our development of our e-commerce business-to-business service model," said Highbloom. "This alliance and investment provide VINtek with the support, enhanced industry recognition and market synergies we have been seeking in order to fully capture our potential. First American's strategy for becoming the dominant player in automotive financial services and information gave us the comfort we needed to welcome them as a partner in VINtek's future success." 

While exact terms of the transaction were not disclosed, First American indicated that, in addition to its minority equity position in VINtek, it has acquired options that allow for the purchase of a majority interest of VINtek's equity over the next few years. Bank Lease Consultants, Inc. served as advisor to both companies throughout the transaction. 

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 information and services; real estate information and services, which includes mortgage information services, and database products 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; lender-placed flood and hazard insurance; 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

Any statements in this document that look forward in time involve risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to the following: the effect of interest rate fluctuations; changes in the performance of the real estate markets; the effect of changing economic conditions; general volatility in the capital markets; the demand for and the acceptance of the company's products; changes in applicable government regulations; continued consolidation among the company's significant customers; consolidation among significant competitors: the impact of the legal proceedings commenced by the California attorney general and related litigation; the continued ability to identify businesses to be acquired; changes in the company's ability to integrate businesses with its acquires; and the contingencies associated with the Year 2000 issue. The company's actual results, performance or achievement could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, any forward-looking statements, and, accordingly, no assurances can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will transpire or occur or, if any of them do, what impact they will have on the results of operations or financial condition of the company.

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