PRUDENTIAL CALIFORNIA REALTY, ORANGE COAST TITLE & FIRST AMERICAN TITLE FORM STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP


January 23, 2002, SAN DIEGO and SANTA ANA, Calif.

Prudential California Realty, Orange Coast Title Company and First American Title Insurance Company, today announced that First American Title Insurance Company has purchased an equity interest in California Title Company, a joint venture underwritten title company owned by Orange Coast Title and Prudential California Realty. California Title operates throughout Southern California and is licensed to sell title insurance and provide real estate closing services in the state of California. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

This partnership of three market leaders to jointly own and operate California Title is a first-of-its-kind strategic alliance, combining the vast resources of Prudential California Realty, the nation’s fifth largest real estate brokerage, with those of Orange Coast Title, one of the largest title agencies in the country, and First American Title Insurance Company, which has been a leading national title insurance underwriter for nearly 113 years.

“When buying a home or property, consumers want a streamlined transaction,” stated Steve Games, president and chief executive officer of Prudential California Realty.  “By partnering with Orange Coast Title and First American, we are able to maximize our resources and expertise to provide consumers with a truly convenient and efficient means of completing the real estate purchase. The addition of First American to this unique partnership is momentous for the title industry and confirms the proposition that the real estate transaction is the hub of many consumer-driven purchases.”

Gary L. Kermott, president of First American Title Insurance Company, stated, “This unique alliance gives First American a chance to participate directly with one of the nation’s leading real estate companies to bring title products and services to market in a convenient and efficient package.”

“We are delighted with our partnership with Prudential California Realty, and the addition of First American brings an entirely new dimension to this venture,” commented John Marconi, president of Orange Coast Title Company.  

Robert Neville, who currently serves as president of California Title, Southern California Division, will continue in that capacity as the company expands its operations in the many markets served by Prudential California Realty. Neville was a pioneer in the formation of successful partnerships between the title and real estate brokerage industries, and the participants in this strategic alliance see Neville’s experience as a strong asset.

“This dynamic combination of partners provides the benefit of local expertise handling all aspects of the real estate transaction and the security of two national title companies standing behind the process,” stated Neville. “Above all, we remain committed to providing the highest quality products and customer service.”

Prudential California Realty is the largest privately owned residential real estate company in California today with over $12 billion in sales in 2001. Prudential California Realty has over 3,000 sales associates in more than 70 offices in Southern California. Prudential’s Web site is at www.prudentialcal.com.

Today, Orange Coast Title Company is among the largest independently owned title companies in the United States, with more than 60 offices in California, Utah, Nevada and Arizona. Additional information on Orange Coast Title can be found at www.octitle.com.

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 900 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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