Santa Ana Title Insurer Buys Rival : Acquisition: First American will gain three branches and an important presence in North Carolina.


First American Title Insurance Co., the nation’s No. 2 title insurer, continued its acquisition streak Friday by announcing its purchase of a North Carolina competitor.

The acquisition of Jefferson-Pilot Title Insurance of Greensboro will add only three branches to First American’s international network of 300 locations, but it will give the company an important presence in the fast-growing North Carolina market.

“We are always interested in picking up companies that have good people and strong local reputations, as well as companies with a long history and good set of title records,” said Parker S. Kennedy, president of First American.

Jefferson-Pilot is a subsidiary of Jefferson-Pilot Corp., which is one of the nation’s largest shareholder-owned life insurers. The company, which had 1993 revenue of $1.2 billion, also has extensive holdings in fire and casualty insurance, mutual funds and broadcasting.


David A. Stonecipher, chief executive of Jefferson-Pilot, said Friday that, while the title company has been an excellent performer, “title insurance is not one of our primary businesses.”

First American, based in Santa Ana, has bought about 10 other title insurance companies across the nation in the past year. Terms of the latest acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, were not disclosed.

First American, which had premiums of $1.1 billion and revenue of $1.4 billion last year, is second in size only to Chicago Title Insurance Co., Kennedy said.