First American Title Acquires Oregon-Based Northwest Title


August 17, 2004, SANTA ANA, Calif.

First American Title Insurance Company today announced that it has acquired Northwest Title Company of McMinnvilleOre., for an unspecified amount.  The acquisition, which closed July 1, 2004, brings new business and increased market share to First American Title Insurance Company of Oregon, First American Title’s wholly owned regional subsidiary.

Approximately 20 former Northwest Title employees have joined First American as a result of the acquisition, including Northwest Title’s founder and owner Finis Carter.  Carter established the company in 1974 and has worked exclusively with First American in an agent-underwriter relationship since 1976.  Through his leadership, Northwest Title developed into the premier title company in Yamhill County, Ore., an area just outside the Portland metropolitan area that will likely see future residential growth given its proximity to the city.  Carter will be instrumental in transitioning Northwest to First American’s centralized title processing technology.

“Northwest Title is an excellent addition to our direct operations in Oregon,” said Chuck O’Rourke, First American Title regional vice president.  “The fact that, in 30 years of business, Finis Carter has never lost a Northwest employee to a competitor says a lot about the integrity of the company he has built.  Northwest already has a strong customer base and a good title plant, and we look forward to helping the company achieve even greater levels of efficiency and profitability.”

Northwest Title will continue to operate under the Northwest Title name and from its McMinnville location for the foreseeable future.  Jan Winder, former manager of escrow operations for Northwest Title, has been named vice president and Yamhill County manager for First American Title.     

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 1,500 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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