February 13, 2001, SANTA ANA, Calif.

First American Title Insurance Company, one of the nation’s largest title insurers, today announced that it has acquired Del Norte County Title Company from the estate of Richard Thorpe and local attorney Lee Bardellini. Terms of the transaction, which closed on Feb. 2, 2001, were not disclosed.

An exclusive agent of First American for many years, Del Norte County Title was founded in 1957, and was later purchased by Richard Thorpe with First American’s help. Since then, Thorpe had been the company’s principal shareholder, owning 70 percent of the company’s stock. First American and Lee Bardellini shared the remaining minority interest.

The company, which is based in Crescent City, Calif., has one office and a title plant covering properties in Del Norte County.

“We have had an excellent relationship with Del Norte County Title for many years and it will be a strong addition to our Northern California operations,” said Gary L. Kermott, president of First American Title. “It has shown a consistent earnings history and provides us with a presence in an area where we previously did not have a direct operation.”

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


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