Fidelity National Financial will buy insurer Stewart Information Services for $1.2 billion in a bid to strengthen its title insurance business, the company announced Monday.

The deal prices Stewart Information’s stock at $50 per share. Fidelity will pay half of that in cash and the rest in stock and debt financing. The companies expect the deal to close in the first or second quarter of 2019.

“We are excited to welcome Stewart, its employees and its customers to the FNF family,” Fidelity Chairman William P. Foley, II said in a statement. “The venerable Stewart brand has a long and respected history in the title insurance industry and we see tremendous potential in working with the Stewart management team to invest in and grow the Stewart brand on a national basis as part of our long-time, successful strategy of operating multiple title insurance brands under the FNF umbrella.”

The acquisition will strengthen Fidelity’s presence in both residential and commercial title insurance. Fidelity said it expects savings of $135 million through the deal.

inteFidelity’s stock climbed 4.87 percent throughout the day Monday after news of the acquisition early in the morning. Stewart Information’s stock was up 7.24 percent Monday afternoon.

Recently, Fidelity has made several acquisitions in real estate tech: the customer relationship management system RealGeeks, real estate software platform Commissions Inc. and a majority stake in the transaction management software SkySlope.

“We are very familiar with Stewart in the marketplace and see multiple areas where we can assist and accelerate Stewart’s growth plans,” Fidelity CEO Raymond Quirk said in a statement. “We also believe there are significant operational efficiencies we can bring to bear by leveraging FNF’s shared services infrastructure that will provide meaningful long-term value creation opportunities for our shareholders.”

Email Emma Hinchliffe

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