First American Screening Information To Acquire SafeRent, Inc.

— Acquisition Will Unite Premier Providers of Resident Screening Services —


November 6, 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 that its Screening Information Division has signed a definitive agreement to acquire SafeRent, Inc., a Denver-based provider of online credit and risk management services for resident screening.  SafeRent will be merged with First American Registry, Inc., the nation’s leading provider of apartment resident screening services, enhancing First American’s position as the market leader in the resident screening industry.  The transaction is expected to close within two weeks.

“Our screening segment began in 1998 with the acquisition of an employment screening company,” said Parker S. Kennedy, president of The First American Corporation.  “After nine acquisitions and four years of internal growth, this segment’s revenues will exceed $150 million in 2003.  These businesses, after integration, will provide steady and strong profits.  SafeRent is a great addition to this segment.”

John W. Long, president of First American’s Screening Information Division said: “First American Screening Information is focused on becoming a recognized screening leader, providing our services nationally to employers, apartment owners and insurers.  The acquisition of SafeRent further enhances our position of leadership in the tenant screening industry. We will continue to expand our offering of background checks, substance abuse testing and other occupational health testing services to better assist our clients in making informed decisions to hire, house or insure consumers.  Our strategy in screening is to build on acquisitions that will provide scale and synergistic opportunities to increase future profit margins.  The SafeRent/Registry combination in resident screening parallels our October merger of Employee Heath Programs, Inc. (EHP) and Substance Abuse Management, Inc. (SAMI).  These acquisitions produce significant market share positions that bode well for future profitability in these highly fragmented businesses.”

With a compounded annual growth rate of 37 percent over the last three years, SafeRent will generate approximately $12 million in revenue in 2002.  The combined SafeRent and First American Registry businesses represent a clear market leader, with projected 2003 revenues of approximately $40 million.

EHP will generate $16.9 million in revenue in 2002 and has a compounded annual growth rate of 8 percent over the last three years.  Combined, the SAMI/EHP operation will generate revenues in excess of $40 million in 2003 and will be second only to industry leader ChoicePoint in providing third-party administrator and medical review officer services.

First American Registry, Inc. is an information management company and the nation’s largest resident screening company.  A subsidiary of First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF), First American Registry is part of the First American Screening Information Division comprised of companies (HireCheck, Inc., Substance Abuse Management, Inc., Employee Health Programs, Inc., and American Driving Records, Inc.) focused on delivering information necessary for successful decisions when hiring, housing or insuring consumers. Information about First American Registry is available at www.registrycheck.com.

SafeRent, Inc. is a leading provider of online credit and risk management services to the apartment industry. Founded in 1998, SafeRent created the first data-driven approach to screening apartment applicants. The screening services help multi-family property managers/owners harness the power of statistical credit scoring over the Internet to increase net operating income, reduce risk and improve operational efficiency. For more information about SafeRent, visit www.saferent.com

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. 

Certain statements made in this press release, including those relating to the expected close of the transaction, 2003 revenues in the screening segment, profits in the screening segment, screening segment product expansion, SafeRent's 2002 revenues, SafeRent's and First American Registry's combined 2003 revenues, EHP's 2002 revenues and SAMI/EHP's combined 2003 revenues 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; 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.

 

 

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