First American Title Insurance Co. today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately held TransContinental Title Co., a provider of title and settlement services to national mortgage lenders in 38 states. The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close in late February.

Led by its chief executive officer and sole shareholder William Baumgart, TransContinental reported gross revenues of $61 million in 2004 and projects similar revenues for 2005, according to a press statement.

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. In offering two channels for complete title and settlement services the company hopes this will increase First American’s overall presence in the large lender market segment and drive revenue growth.

“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 Co.’s National Lenders Advantage Division.

First American Title Insurance Co., the largest subsidiary of The First American Corp. (NYSE:FAF), offers title services through nearly 1,700 offices and an extensive network of agents throughout the United States and abroad. The company has its headquarters in Santa Ana, Calif.


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