First American To Buy Interthinx For $155 Million

14995_handshake_deal First American To Buy Interthinx For $155 Million First American Financial Corp., the second-largest U.S. title insurer, has agreed to buy mortgage technology and services company Interthinx Inc. from Verisk Analytics Inc. for $155 million.

The transaction is expected to close by March 31, Santa Ana, Calif.-based First American says in a release.

From the release, it was not clear whether First American intends to keep the Interthinx brand intact.

Title insurers – which use their records and public documents to verify a seller is a property's true owner and that it's free from liens – have been expanding business with mortgage companies. Fidelity National Financial Inc. last month completed the acquisition of Lender Processing Services Inc. for more than $3 billion.

Interthinx will help First American offer real estate customers "further assurances in areas that present risk, including fraud, identity and income validation, collateral adequacy, and compliance," says Dennis Gilmore, CEO of First American Financial.

‘The sweeping market and regulatory changes of the past several years have led to more demanding mortgage origination requirements,’ Gilmore says. ‘Our customers have expressed to us a desire for tighter integration between loan origination activities, loan quality verification processes, and title and settlement services.

‘First American already assures quality throughout the title and settlement process,’ Gilmore says. ‘The added capabilities of Interthinx will allow us to leverage our central role in real estate transactions to offer our customers further assurances in areas that present risk, including fraud, identity and income validation, collateral adequacy, and compliance. This puts First American in a unique position to provide the industry's most robust loan-quality assurance solutions – from application to closing.

‘This acquisition also represents a significant step in our ongoing effort to capitalize on our unique data assets – which include the nation's largest inventory of property and title information and imagery – to provide solutions to the real estate industry and enhance our title insurance and settlement services offerings,’ Gilmore adds.

Scott Stephenson, CEO of Jersey City, N.J.-based Verisk, which has been growing through acquisitions lately, says the sale of Interthinx will help Verisk ‘focus on businesses most closely aligned with our strategy," which includes supplying actuarial data to insurers.


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