First American Title Insurance Company to Acquire TransContinental Title

—Acquisition Will Increase First American Market Share in Mortgage Originator Segment—

December 12, 2005, SANTA ANA, Calif.

First American Title Insurance Company today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately held TransContinental Title Company, a leading provider of title and settlement services to national mortgage lenders.  The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close in late February.

Established in 1987, TransContinental Title is a licensed title insurer in 38 states and has the ability to handle transactions nationwide through its affiliation with First American.  Led by its chief executive officer and sole shareholder William Baumgart, TransContinental has become a prominent multistate title agency serving many of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders, with current volumes averaging in excess of 8,000 mortgage transactions per month.  

TransContinental reported gross revenues of $61 million in 2004 and projects similar revenues for 2005.  As part of the First American family of companies, TransContinental will continue to provide its branded title and closing solutions to its growing customer base, while applying First American’s industry-leading technology and data resources to TransContinental’s operations. Joining First American will enable TransContinental to drive new strategic solutions for its customers and to further improve its strong profitability.

“This acquisition will increase First American’s exposure among mortgage originators through a well-recognized and highly respected brand,” said James J. Dufficy, executive director of First American Title Insurance Company’s National Lenders Advantage Division.  “TransContinental has a strong management team and a progressive approach to title and settlement services that parallels First American’s philosophy.  The additional choice it presents our customers should help further solidify our leadership as the provider of choice among the leading national mortgage lenders.”   

TransContinental will continue to operate under its current name and management structure, working in conjunction with First American’s National Lenders Advantage unit, the company’s existing high-volume, centralized title processing arm formed in 1993 to address the needs of mortgage originators.  Offering two highly efficient channels for complete title and settlement services will increase First American’s overall presence in the large lender market segment and is expected to drive revenue growth.  

“First American shares our commitment to continuous improvement of the real estate transaction process, and it is with great pride and excitement that we join the First American organization,” said William Baumgart, founder and chief executive officer of TransContinental Title Company.  “Leveraging key First American production resources in executing our business strategy will yield notable results for our company, our customers and the end consumers we ultimately serve.” 

About TransContinental Title
TransContinental Title Company is a comprehensive, nationwide outsourced provider of title and loan closing services to national and regional lending institutions.  Through its two national servicing centers and 12 branch offices, TransContinental supports lenders by providing time-sensitive mortgage services anywhere in the nation.  TransContinental is headquartered in Clearwater, Fla.  For more information, please visit    
About First American
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 1,700 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

Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements made in this press release, including those related to the expected closing date of the transaction, TransContinental’s projected 2005 revenues, profitability improvements and leveraging of production resources, 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; limitations on 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, 2004, 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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