First American Acquires Florida-Based Independent Title


February 3, 2004, 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 the acquisition of Independent Title of St. Augustine, Inc. and Independent Title of St. Johns, both located in St. Augustine, Fla.  Terms of the transaction, which closed Jan. 1, 2004, were not disclosed.

Based in St. John’s County, Fla., the combined Independent Title operations are the county’s largest title insurance agency in terms of market share.  When combined with First American’s existing area operations, the resulting company will control a market share nearly 6 percent greater than its closest competitor.

“Independent is a well-run company in a prime market,” said Mike Conway, regional vice president for First American Title Insurance Company.  “By merging its back office operations with our Associated Land Title office in St. Augustine, we will create efficiencies that will position First American as the clear leader in St. Johns County.”

One of the top 50 fastest growing areas in the nation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, St. Johns County is expected to see continued real estate growth at prices parallel to the state’s most exclusive areas in south Florida.       

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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