First American Acquires Bar None, Inc.
—Expands the Automotive Market Presence and Nontraditional Credit Capabilities of First American’s Credit Information Group, Slated for Acquisition by First Advantage Corporation—
June 6, 2005, SANTA ANA, Calif.
The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF), the nation’s largest data provider, today announced it has acquired Bar None, Inc., a leading provider of credit-based lead generation, processing and tracking services. Details of the transaction, which closed May 25, 2005, were not disclosed.
“This acquisition further expands First American’s presence in the automotive market and enhances our nontraditional credit capabilities,” said Anand K. Nallathambi, president of First American’s Credit Information Group. “Bar None will help solidify our position with auto dealerships by adding value and deepening our relationships. It also provides the opportunity for additional credit reporting volume.”
The leading provider of merged credit reports to both the automotive and mortgage finance industries, First American has significantly increased its nontraditional credit reporting capabilities in recent years. Reliable methods of assessing the credit risk of loan applicants with little or no traditional credit history are of increasing importance to lenders and automotive dealers seeking new business opportunities within the low-income, first-time buyer and recent immigrant markets.
Jim Crouse, founder and president of Bar None, stated: “Becoming part of the First American family of companies allows Bar None to draw upon First American’s extensive credit information resources and existing partnerships in the automotive market. This combination will facilitate delivery of new and incremental data products to both dealers and lenders, and further our commitment to putting working people into the vehicles they need.”
Established in 1995, Bar None has developed a scalable platform that supports lead generation for automobile dealerships with a 24-hour call center and Web-based application capability. In addition, Bar None provides a unique lead tracking and follow-up methodology that allows dealerships to generate a higher return on lead generation investment than can be achieved on a stand-alone basis.
According to a 2004 Forrester Research report, 44 percent of automotive leads are never pursued by a dealer, and only one out of every 10 leads results in a sale. Bar None’s unique lead tracking and follow-up methodology ensures that every lead provided to a dealer client is pursued through personal contact by a Bar None representative, resulting in higher conversion rates and more sales.
The acquisition of Bar None complements the automotive and nontraditional credit information services provided by First American’s Credit Information Group. “Bar None focuses on subprime borrowers and Teletrack, a company under our Credit Information Group, is the nation’s largest subprime credit bureau. We’re excited about the synergistic marketing opportunities between these two companies,” added Nallathambi.
Jim Crouse will continue as president of Bar None, reporting to Howard L. Tischler, president and chief executive officer of First American Credit Management Solutions, Inc. Bar None will continue to operate from its
On May 25, 2005, First American announced the signing of a definitive agreement to contribute its Credit Information Group to First Advantage Corporation (NASDAQ: FADV), its majority-owned, publicly traded subsidiary. That announcement indicated that First Advantage may issue an additional 1,268,292 shares of common stock to First American in connection with a prospective acquisition. The purchase of Bar None is the prospective acquisition referenced in the May 25 press release. First American and First Advantage intend to include Bar None as part of that transaction.
About Bar None
Bar None, Inc. is a leading provider of credit-based lead generation, processing and tracking services for the automotive industry. Based on
About First American
The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF), a Fortune 500 company that traces its history to 1889, is the nation’s largest data provider. First American combines advanced analytics with its vast data resources to supply businesses and consumers with valuable information products to support the major economic events of people’s lives, such as getting a job, renting an apartment, buying a car or house, securing a mortgage and opening or buying a business. 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 $6.72 billion in 2004, First American has 31,000 employees in approximately 2,000 offices throughout the United States and abroad. More information about the company and an archive of its press releases can be found at www.firstam.com.
Certain statements made in this press release, including those related to new and incremental data products, 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.