THE FIRST AMERICAN CORPORATION ACQUIRES AMERICAN DRIVING RECORDS


January 28, 2002, SANTA ANA, Calif.

The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF), the nation’s leading diversified provider of business information and related products and services, announced today that it has acquired American Driving Records, Inc. (ADR) of Sacramento, Calif.  Terms of the transaction, which closed Jan. 24, 2002, were not disclosed.

ADR is one of the nation’s leading providers of Motor Vehicle Reports (MVRs), currently processing more than 10 million MVRs for its 4,300 clients—primarily insurance agents—each year.  MVRs are reports derived from various state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) files that include an individual’s driver’s license status as well as any violations on record. 

MVRs are an important part of the screening process for many companies where employees are required to drive on company business.  In certain trucking and freight industries, employers are mandated by the Department of Transportation to periodically review MVRs for their regulated employees.

This acquisition positions First American as one of only three background-screening companies with direct access to state motor vehicle records nationwide, enabling it to deliver MVRs to its clients in a more efficient and cost-effective manner. It also provides new cross-selling opportunities between First American subsidiaries.  

 “ADR is a solid company with great prospects for growth,” said John W. Long, president of First American Screening Services and HireCheck, Inc. “This acquisition complements our existing screening operations and presents additional synergies for our consumer credit reporting and automobile loan origination segments across the First American Family of Companies.”

ADR will be a part of First American’s new screening services division, which includes HireCheck, Inc., Substance Abuse Management, Inc. (SAMI) and First American Registry, Inc. United to provide decision makers with the information necessary to make sound business decisions, each company plays a key role in delivering consumer data.  HireCheck provides employment-screening services—including criminal records searches, employment verifications, credit reports, education verifications and driving records—to employers nationwide.  SAMI, a premier third-party administrator of alcohol and drug testing programs, serves employers by delivering substance abuse testing results and program management.  First American Registry, the leading provider of tenant screening services, offers property managers the largest database of tenant eviction information available.

 “We are excited to be a part of the First American family and believe that this acquisition will further enhance our position as a dominant supplier of MVRs,” said Roopal Shah, president and co-founder of ADR.

ADR will continue to operate from its Sacramento headquarters, with Shah, a 20-year veteran of the MVR industry, continuing in his capacity as president.  The company is expected to retain the ADR name and its existing management team.

Tracing its history to 1889, The First American Corporation 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; direct-to-consumer public records reporting; resident screening; pre-employment screening; automobile title administration; property and automotive insurance tracking services; property and casualty insurance; home warranties; investment advisory; and trust and banking services.  Information about First American and an archive of press releases can be found at www.firstam.com.

American Driving Records, Inc., headquartered in Sacramento, Calif., is ranked as one of the top five Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) providers in the nation.  With direct connections to DMV records in 47 states, ADR provides millions of MVRs to insurance agents, background screening companies and transportation carriers each year.  For more information about ADR, visit www.mvrs.com.

 

Certain statements in this press release, including those relating to ADR’s growth prospects, the synergies resulting from this transaction and the ADR management team 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, 2000, 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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