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First American to Acquire Verisk Unit for $155 Million

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Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- First American Financial Corp., the second-largest U.S. title insurer, agreed to buy Interthinx Inc. from Verisk Analytics Inc. for $155 million to add data that serves the mortgage industry.

The sale will increase 2014 earnings and is expected to be completed by March 31, Santa Ana, California-based First American said today in a statement.

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., the No. 1 title insurer, 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,” Dennis Gilmore, chief executive officer of the insurer, said in the statement.

Verisk, the supplier of actuarial data to insurers, has been making acquisitions to expand relationships with the health-care and credit-card industries. Exiting Interthinx “will allow us to focus on businesses most closely aligned with our strategy,” Scott Stephenson, CEO of Jersey City, New Jersey-based Verisk, said in a separate statement.

Bank of America Corp. is assisting First American, which got legal advice from McGuireWoods LLP. Verisk is using Morgan Stanley and McCarter & English LLP.

First American rose 0.6 percent to $25.06 at 4:15 p.m. in New York. Verisk gained 0.1 percent to $62.33. Verisk has rallied 14 percent in the past year, while First American has advanced 3.2 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexandria Baca in New York at abaca3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at dkraut2@bloomberg.net

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