First American's UK Unit Acquires Legal Services Provider Enact
—Further Strengthens Position as Top Insurer of UK Refinance Mortgage Transactions—
November 11, 2004, SANTA ANA, Calif.
The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF) today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary First Title plc, the leading provider of title insurance and mortgage processing services in the United Kingdom, has acquired Enact Conveyancing Limited, a Leeds, UK, -based provider of volume legal services to the housing sector. Terms of the transaction, which closed in October 2004, were not disclosed.
Combined, First Title and Enact now insure more refinance mortgage activity than any other company in the
The acquisition comes 15 months after Enact was purchased by its senior management from Addleshaw Goddard, a leading
“Over the past 12 months, First Title has handled in excess of 100,000 refinance mortgages,” said David Thorpe, chief executive officer of First Title. “This acquisition supports our aggressive growth strategy as we are doubling our processing capability and, as a result, becoming the market leader in the provision of such services to the lending industry. We have retained the Enact management team and look forward to building upon their initial success.”
Richard Dinning, chairman and chief executive officer of Enact, added: “This is a tremendously exciting development for Enact and a significant achievement for its management team—less than half way through our inaugural, three-year business plan. Having the financial strength of a global business dedicated to the lending and property sector, we will be able to grow and develop at a faster pace than previously envisaged. With such a strong strategic fit, the current management team had no hesitation in committing themselves to joining First Title.”
The timing of the acquisition is also appropriate in light of anticipated
The growth of First Title through this acquisition represents another step in First American’s international expansion strategy. With more than 1,000 employees in the
“While it takes considerable time and investment to introduce title insurance to foreign markets, our efforts are starting to pay real dividends,” said Thomas Grifferty, vice president of International Operations for First American. “The fact that we have pioneered the concept in several new markets has placed us in dominant market positions in these countries. In addition, because of our international experiences we are uniquely positioned to leverage our expertise and take advantage of other global opportunities that continue to arise.”
The companies will continue to operate under their existing names and structure. Dinning has been appointed to the board of directors for First Title.
Enact was advised on the transaction by Pinsents and Deloittes. First Title was advised by the City Law Partnership and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Enact is based in
About First Title
First Title plc has four offices in the
About First American
The First American Corporation is a Fortune 500 company that traces its history to 1889. As the nation’s largest data provider, the company supplies businesses and consumers with information resources in connection with the major economic events of people’s lives, such as getting a job; renting an apartment; buying a car, house, boat or airplane; securing a mortgage; opening or buying a business; and planning for retirement. The First American Family of Companies, many of which command leading market share positions in their respective industries, operate within six primary business segments, including: Title Insurance and Services, Specialty Insurance, Mortgage Information, Property Information, Credit Information and Screening Information. With revenues of $6.21 billion in 2003, First American has 30,000 employees in approximately 1,800 offices throughout the