First Title and Winmarkt Sign Title Insurance Deal


July 11, 2008, LONDON

First Title Insurance plc (First Title), a subsidiary of First Title plc and the largest provider of title insurance in the United Kingdom and Europe, is pleased to announce that it provided title insurance to facilitate the purchase of Winmarkt Magazine by the IGD Group one of the primary players in the Italian retail real estate market  for €182.50 million.

By providing comprehensive title insurance, First Title enabled the complex transaction to take place, replacing some of the vendor’s warranties. The transaction covered 16 Winmarkt commercial centres in Romania, spanning a total of 147,000 square metres.

György Sáringer, First Title’s business development executive for Romania and Bulgaria said: “These transactions highlight one of the key benefits of title insurance. Our product replaces warranties that would otherwise leave the seller with contingent liabilities upon closure of the transaction. First Title was pleased to have the opportunity to develop a complex, tailored policy to help the IGD Group and Winmarkt reach their goals. This is an excellent example of how title insurance can enhance value and facilitate the acquisition of property. With the Romanian real estate sector continuing to grow at an unprecedented rate, the future looks extremely promising for First Title in the region.”

Mr Antonio Di Berardino, director of IGD and chief executive officer of Winmarkt, said: “The target of our first acquisition abroad was not to make an investment in a specific location, but to acquire a portfolio in order to maximize scale economies and diversify risks. However, by considering the entire portfolio, we also found many critical risk points in the acquisition phase due to the property registration system in Romania, which is subject to many uncertainties, both societal and legislative. Indeed, I believe that without the value added by title insurance and without First Title’s skills, this acquisition may not have been completed, despite the appeal of the business.”

About First Title plc
First Title plc has nine offices throughout Europe — five offices in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Germany, Poland, Hungary and Turkey — with more than 600 employees. It provides a wide range of innovative products that enable lawyers, mortgage lenders and estate agents to deliver more efficient and advanced service to their property clients. More information about the company can be found at www.firsttitle.eu. First Title is a wholly owned subsidiary of The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF), a FORTUNE 500® company that traces its history to 1889. First American is America’s largest provider of business information, supplying businesses and consumers with valuable information products to support the major economic events of people’s lives.  Additional information about the First American Family of Companies can be found at www.firstam.com.  

Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements made in this press release, including those relating to First Title’s market position and continued growth, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These and other forward-looking statements may contain the words “believe,” “anticipate,” “expect,” “predict,” “estimate,” “project,” “will be,” “will continue,” “will likely result,” and other similar words and phrases. Risks and uncertainties exist that may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in these forward-looking statements. 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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