First American and LandAmerica Create Nation's Largest Provider of Real Estate Valuation Services
— Joint Venture to Increase Transaction Volume and Improve Profitability —
June 3, 2002, SANTA ANA, Calif.
The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF), the nation’s leading, diversified provider of business information and related products and services, today announced the formation of a joint venture with LandAmerica Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: LFG) for the production and delivery of real estate appraisal products.
“This venture further strengthens our strategic relationship with LandAmerica and substantially increases First American’s appraisal operations,” said Parker S. Kennedy, president of The First American Corporation. “This transaction will be immediately accretive to First American’s earnings and will create economies of scale that will result in improved efficiency and profitability in our appraisal business.”
Under the terms of the agreement, LandAmerica will combine its OneStop appraisal production division (formerly known as Primis) with First American’s eAppraiseIT division, creating the nation’s largest provider of real estate valuation services. The new entity, which will be majority owned by First American, will operate under the eAppraiseIT name and be managed by First American.
First American and LandAmerica formed a similar venture in 2000 with the creation of Data Trace, a title technology company, likewise majority owned and managed by First American. Data Trace has proven successful for First American and LandAmerica, outpacing its competitors with notable volume and margin increases in 2001. Data Trace holds the number one position in the title plant automation market.
“We are pleased with this opportunity to once again partner with LandAmerica in a joint venture that will be highly beneficial to both companies and to our customers,” said Dennis J. Gilmore, president of First American’s Database Information and Services Group. “The combination created by this venture will produce an unparalleled real estate valuation capability.”
LandAmerica will retain the name OneStop for its current portfolio of services, relying on eAppraiseIT for appraisal fulfillment. LandAmerica will begin to transition its appraisal business to the eAppraiseIT technology platform in June 2002.
“eAppraiseIT is well-positioned to service LandAmerica customers through our existing production facilities and technology infrastructure,” said Chris Leavell, who will continue to serve as president of eAppraiseIT. “This transaction not only expands our customer base, but also introduces our new clients to a complete menu of valuation products uniquely designed to lower their costs, improve their service and better mitigate their collateral risk.”
eAppraiseIT offers the most comprehensive and innovative line of products in the valuation industry including EagleCert, the industry’s first insured valuation solution; RAVe, a low-cost, fully upgradeable home equity valuation solution; several new broker price opinion (BPO) products; and a full suite of industry leading automated valuation models (AVMs). eAppraiseIT recently introduced its newest product, VeriCert, a tool that helps wholesale lenders and purchasers better determine the collateral risk of loans purchased by validating specified data fields in the original appraisal and providing a quality rating.
About The First American Corporation
The First American Corporation is a Fortune 500 company that traces its history to 1889. As the nation’s leading, diversified provider of business information, the company supplies businesses and consumers with the information resources that affect the major economic events of people’s lives, such as getting a job; renting an apartment; buying a car, house, boat or airplane; securing a mortgage; opening or buying a business; and planning for retirement. The First American Family of Companies, many of which command leading market share positions in their respective industries, operate within seven primary business segments including: Title Insurance and Services, Specialty Insurance, Trust and Other Services, Mortgage Information, Property Information, Credit Information and Screening Information. With revenues of $3.75 billion in 2001, First American has more than 22,500 employees in approximately 1,300 offices throughout the United States and abroad. More information about the company and an archive of its press releases can be found at www.firstam.com
eAppraiseIT offers a complete menu of residential appraisal and statistical evaluation products providing accurate appraisal information for first mortgages, home equity loans, foreclosures and tax assessments. eAppraiseIT has an innovative new product line—EagleCert—the industry’s first complete, insured valuation product line for the first-mortgage market. More information about eAppraiseIT and its appraisal products can be found on at www.eappraiseit.com
Certain statements made in this press release, including those relating to the effects of the transaction on the company’s earnings, economies of scale, efficiencies, the beneficial effect of the joint venture on the companies, the effects of the combination of experience and technology and the effects of an expansion in the appraisal company’s customer base are forward-looking. Risks and uncertainties exist which may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in these forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause the anticipated results to differ from those described in the forward-looking statements include: interest rate fluctuations; changes in the performance of the real estate markets; general volatility in the capital markets; changes in applicable government regulations; consolidation among the company’s significant customers and competitors; legal proceedings commenced by the California attorney general and related litigation; the company’s continued ability to identify businesses to be acquired; changes in the company’s ability to integrate businesses which it acquires; and other factors described in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2001, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. The company does not undertake to update forward-looking statements to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the date the forward-looking statements are made.