First American To Acquire Pacific Northwest Title Holding Company


December 23, 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, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Seattle-based Pacific Northwest Title Holding Company and its subsidiaries.  Acquiring Pacific Northwest significantly increases First American’s regional market share and operational presence, adding more than 500 employees and approximately 25 direct offices to First American in Washington state, Oregon and Alaska.

“This is a true milestone for First American in our continued growth in the region,” said Gary L. Kermott, president of First American Title Insurance Company.  “Combining this strong group of veteran title and escrow employees with our existing operations enables us to leverage our established business relationships and forge new ones through best-in-class service and streamlined processing.  We’re excited to have this opportunity.”

Incorporated in 1983, Pacific Northwest has 10 title services subsidiaries, including Pacific Northwest Title Insurance Company.  Licensed in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska, the company and its subsidiaries own portions of 14 title plants.  Pacific Northwest also serves as an underwriter for an extensive number of unaffiliated agents.

“First American shares our commitment to integrity and service, assuring us that this acquisition will provide great business opportunities for both companies,” said Pete Murphy, chairman of Pacific Northwest.  “We look forward to a smooth interface of our operations and the opportunity to provide unparalleled products and services to our clients.”

First American will purchase 100 percent of Pacific Northwest’s stock in a transaction expected to close in March.  The transaction is subject to regulatory and Pacific Northwest shareholder approval.  The company will continue to operate under the Pacific Northwest Title name.

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 www.firstam.com.

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