First American Title Insurance Company Acquires Missouri-Based Hawkins Title Company


June 30, 2000, SANTA ANA, Calif.

First American Title Insurance Company, one of the nation's largest title insurers, today announced that it has acquired Hawkins Title Company in Joplin, Mo., from owner Ray Hawkins. Terms of the acquisition, which closed on June 22, 2000, were not disclosed.

"The acquisition of Hawkins Title gives us a direct operation in Jasper and Newton counties, in Missouri, allowing us to establish a service center covering southwestern Missouri and southeastern Kansas," said Gary L. Kermott, president of First American Title Insurance Company. "Such a service center will not only handle direct business of First American, but will also allow us to develop strategic alliances with our agents in this area, one of the fastest growing regions in the state. In addition, Hawkins Title has two, complete title plants covering both counties, the records of which, when added to First American's national network of title information, will enable us to provide faster, more efficient title information to our agents and offices, advancing First American's long-standing reputation as a market leader."

Hawkins Title, which was founded in the early 1900s, was purchased by its sole shareholder, Ray Hawkins, in 1975. Operating from a single office in Joplin, Mo., Hawkins Title will continue to conduct business under its own name as a wholly owned subsidiary of First American. Hawkins, who has 40 years of title industry experience, will continue with the company in a consulting capacity. Hawkins's wife, Corrine, who has 26 years of title industry experience, and Tom Coop, who has been with the company for three years, will continue in their present positions.

"We are very excited about being acquired by First American and look forward to benefiting from the company's nationwide reputation, financial backing and advanced technology," said Hawkins. "We feel that the knowledge and expertise of our employees, along with our longstanding reputation in the local community, will be an excellent fit with First American and will allow us to offer a higher level of service to our customers."

First American Title Insurance Company, the largest subsidiary of The First American 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 800 offices and an extensive network of agents throughout the United States and abroad. The company has its headquarters in Santa Ana, Calif. Information about The First American Corporation's subsidiaries and an archive of its press releases can be found on the Internet at www.firstam.com.

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