First American Title Insurance Company to Acquire Transcontinental Title Company

December 12, 2005

SANTA ANA, Calif., -- First American Title Insurance Company 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."

Source: First American Title Insurance Company

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