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Industry News

Stewart Title Insurance Co. to Acquire Monroe Title Insurance Corp. of Rochester, N.Y.

July 27, 2005

ROCHESTER, N.Y. and HOUSTON, /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Monroe Title Insurance Corp. (OTC Bulletin Board: MTTL) and Stewart Title Insurance Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Stewart Information Services Corp. (NYSE: STC - News), today announced a definite agreement whereby Stewart Title Insurance Co. will acquire all of the common stock of Monroe Title including surplus and cash, in an all-cash transaction at a price of approximately $26 million or $22.49 per share.

Approximately $21.15 per share will be paid to the shareholders of Monroe Title at the closing of the transaction, with the difference to be held in escrow pending merger conditions. The acquisition is subject to Monroe Title shareholder and regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2005.

Monroe Title Insurance Corp. provides a full range of title insurance and abstract services throughout western, central and upstate New York. The company has 23 full-service and subsidiary offices and a network of agents and examining counsel throughout New York state and approximately 200 full-time employees. After the transaction is completed, Monroe Title will continue its operations as a wholly owned subsidiary of Stewart Title Insurance Co. It will continue to provide its title insurance and abstract services under the name, "Monroe Title Insurance Corporation," through its network of offices, management and staff.

Commenting on the transaction, Maureen P. Lamb, who has been Monroe Title's acting president since the sudden death of Thomas P. Moonan, Monroe Title's former president and chief executive officer, earlier this year, stated, "We are very pleased to be entering into this agreement with Stewart Title. Stewart Title has a solid reputation for financial strength and integrity, and Monroe Title has an 83-year history of providing quality title and abstract services. We believe the combined strengths of both organizations will have a positive impact on our customers. The fact that we are making this announcement today is a testament to Tom Moonan's hard work, his dedication to Monroe Title, its employees and shareholders and his vision."

"This acquisition will greatly enhance Stewart Title's ability to provide title insurance and abstract services throughout the state of New York," said John Welling, president, Stewart Title Insurance Co. "Tom Moonan and his staff have built a fine organization that is dedicated to the needs of its customers. We are proud to bring this company into the Stewart family, and are excited to now be working hand-in-hand to provide 'magnificent service' and increase our business in markets served by this company."

Malcolm Morris, a member of the board of Stewart Title Insurance Co. and chairman of its parent, Stewart Information Services Corp. said, "This is a significant acquisition to expand Stewart's presence in upstate New York and meet the needs of our national customer base. Adding the tools and resources of Stewart to Monroe Title will create additional opportunities to increase revenues and profitability. We expect this merger to further substantiate Monroe's market position, while opening these markets to Stewart's additional real estate products and services."

Source: Stewart Information Services Corp.



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