First American Title Acquires North American Title in Detroit


February 2, 2000, SANTA ANA, Calif.

First American Title Insurance Company, one of the nation's largest title insurers, today announced that is has acquired North American Title Inc., in Detroit from owners Michael Strat, Richard Parsons and John Apostol. Terms of the acquisition, which closed Jan. 7, 2000, were not disclosed.

North American Title, which is headquartered in Troy, Mich., will be merged with the southeast Michigan operations of First American Title in Macomb, Monroe, Oakland and Wayne counties. The company will operate as First American Title Insurance Company, Southeast Michigan Division, with Strat, Parsons and Apostol serving as president, chief executive officer and chief operating officer, respectively.

"The acquisition of North American Title improves our ability to profitably service customers in southeast Michigan and affords new business opportunities," said Gary L. Kermott, president of First American Title Insurance Company. "One of our key goals in this region is to become a provider of title information services to other title companies operating in southeast Michigan. The volume of title insurance and title information products from both companies currently exceeds 60,000 orders per year. The combined operation, which will be one of First American's largest branch operations, will enjoy increased economies of scale, allowing us to provide services at a much lower cost."

North American Title was founded in Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., in 1987 by Strat, Parsons and Jon Pastoria. Apostol, who joined the company in 1988, became an owner in 1996. The company's two other offices are located in the cities of Northville and Utica.

"Aside from the obvious benefits associated with becoming a member of the First American family and the opportunity to participate in the national initiatives of the company, our new scale in back-room production capacity will allow us to leverage costs over a far wider range of services," said Strat. " The new structure, economies of scale and recently developed technologies will allow us to grow to become the primary provider of title and escrow production outsourcing needs for First American's agents in the Detroit Metropolitan area."

First American Title Insurance Company, the largest subsidiary of the First American Financial Corporation (NYSE:FAF), traces its history to 1889. One of the largest title insurers in the nation, the company offers title services through more than 500 offices and an extensive network of agents throughout the United States and abroad. The company has its headquarters in Santa Ana, California. Information about The First American Financial Corporation's subsidiaries and an archive of its press releases can be found on the Internet at www.firstam.com.

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