FIRST AMERICAN ACQUIRES HALL ABSTRACT & TITLE COMPANY OF MISSOURI


March 27, 2001, SANTA ANA, Calif.

First American Title Insurance Company, one of the nation’s largest title insurers and a member of The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF) family of companies, today announced that it will acquire Hall Abstract and Title Company, Inc. from its owners Steve and Joyce Crawford. Terms of the acquisition, which is expected to close before the end of April, were not disclosed.

Hall Abstract serves seven Missouri counties with approximately 25 employees that work out of three offices, including the company’s main office in St. Joseph, where it owns an extensive title plant and serves more than 70 percent of the title market.  Crawford will remain with the company and will serve as the operation’s county manager.

“Hall Abstract is a quality company with a history of good earnings and an extensive title plant, which contains valuable title information for the region,” said Gary L. Kermott, president of First American Title Insurance Company.   “This acquisition fits well with our previous acquisitions in the Kansas City area.  It fortifies our presence in the market and allows for expansion northward to the Iowa border. It also moves us closer to our ultimate goal of centralizing and automating the title searching process.” 

The First American Corporation, based in Santa Ana, Calif., is the nation’s leading, diversified 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 information and services; and consumer information and services, which provides automotive, subprime and direct-to-consumer credit reporting; resident screening; pre-employment screening; property and automotive insurance tracking services; property and casualty insurance; home warranties, 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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