First American and LandAmerica Create Nation's Largest Provider of Real Estate Valuation Services
June 3, 2002
Joint Venture to Increase Transaction Volume and Improve Profitability -
SANTA ANA, Calif., June 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF), a diversified provider of business information and related products and services, has formed a joint venture with LandAmerica Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: LFG) for the production and delivery of real estate appraisal products.
"This venture further strengthens our strategic relationship with LandAmerica and substantially increases First American's appraisal operations," said Parker S. Kennedy, president of The First American Corporation. "This transaction will be immediately accretive to First American's earnings and will create economies of scale that will result in improved efficiency and profitability in our appraisal business."
Under the terms of the agreement, LandAmerica will combine its OneStop appraisal production division (formerly known as Primis) with First American's eAppraiseIT division, creating the nation's largest provider of real estate valuation services. The new entity, which will be majority owned by First American, will operate under the eAppraiseIT name and be managed by First American.
First American and LandAmerica formed a similar venture in 2000 with the creation of Data Trace, a title technology company, likewise majority owned and managed by First American. Data Trace has proven successful for First American and LandAmerica, outpacing its competitors with notable volume and margin increases in 2001. Data Trace holds the number one position in the title plant automation market.
"We are pleased with this opportunity to once again partner with LandAmerica in a joint venture that will be highly beneficial to both companies and to our customers," said Dennis J. Gilmore, president of First American's Database Information and Services Group. "The combination created by this venture will produce an unparalleled real estate valuation capability."
LandAmerica will retain the name OneStop for its current portfolio of services, relying on eAppraiseIT for appraisal fulfillment. LandAmerica will begin to transition its appraisal business to the eAppraiseIT technology platform in June 2002.
"eAppraiseIT is well-positioned to service LandAmerica customers through our existing production facilities and technology infrastructure," said Chris Leavell, who will continue to serve as president of eAppraiseIT. "This transaction not only expands our customer base, but also introduces our new clients to a complete menu of valuation products uniquely designed to lower their costs, improve their service and better mitigate their collateral risk."
eAppraiseIT offers the most comprehensive and innovative line of products in the valuation industry including EagleCert, the industry's first insured valuation solution; RAVe, a low-cost, fully upgradeable home equity valuation solution; several new broker price opinion (BPO) products; and a full suite of industry leading automated valuation models (AVMs). eAppraiseIT recently introduced its newest product, VeriCert, a tool that helps wholesale lenders and purchasers better determine the collateral risk of loans purchased by validating specified data fields in the original appraisal and providing a quality rating.
Source: The First American Corporation