First American Acquires Metropolitan Title Company

- Expands Market Share and Services in 10 States -

December 22, 2003, SANTA ANA, Calif.

First American Title Insurance Company, one of the nation’s largest title insurers and a member of The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF) family of companies, announced today that it has acquired privately held Metropolitan Title Company and its affiliates, which together comprise one of America’s largest independent title agency, for an undisclosed purchase price. The acquisition will be accretive to First American in the first quarter of 2004. 

Based in Howell, Mich., Metropolitan Title Company will continue to operate under the Metropolitan Title brand and will be managed as a division of First American Title Insurance Company. Metropolitan Title, with more than 1,400 employees, issues title insurance polices for several national underwriters. The title agency operates in 10 states and expects to generate revenues in excess of $150 million in 2003.

“Metropolitan Title is a strong and profitable company with a great reputation in the marketplace,” said Gary L. Kermott, president of First American Title Insurance Company.   “The acquisition of Metropolitan Title will help to significantly strengthen First American’s market share in key areas of the country.” 

Ken Lingenfelter, chief executive officer of Metropolitan Title Company, will remain with the company in that capacity.  Also continuing with Metropolitan Title Company will be Terry Brown, president; Robin Gilroy, chief financial officer; Dennis Lintemuth, chief operating officer; and David Smessaert, chief information officer. 

 “First American Title is an industry leader, and we are proud to join with such a strong and innovative company,” stated Lingenfelter. “While we will continue to operate as the Metropolitan brand, our customers will now benefit from First American’s expanded line of diversified real estate-related products and services. We will also take full advantage of First American’s technology solutions to improve our efficiency, reduce our production costs and be even more responsive to our customers’ needs.”

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 nearly 1,200 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

Certain statements made in this press release, including those related to 2003 operating results, earnings accretion, market share improvement and the effects of technology, are forward looking. Risks and uncertainties exist that 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; access to public records and other data; 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, 2002, as 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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