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FIDELITY NATIONAL FINANCIAL INC. CLOSES ACQUISITION OF MERIDIAN TITLE INSURANCE CO. AND ITS SUBSIDIARIES

         FIDELITY NATIONAL FINANCIAL INC. CLOSES ACQUISITION
        OF MERIDIAN TITLE INSURANCE CO. AND ITS SUBSIDIARIES
    IRVINE, Calif., June 30, 1992 -- Fidelity National Financial Inc. (NYSE: FNF), one of the nation's leading title insurance underwriters, today announced the closing of its acquisition of Meridian Title Insurance Co., American Title Insurance Co. and its subsidiaries (Meridian) from Meridian Bank Inc., headquartered in Reading, Pa. (NASDAQ: MRDN).
    The acquisition purchase price of $21,120,000 was based on the consolidated net worth of Meridian as of Feb. 28, 1992, net of an $11 million dividend paid by Meridian Title to Meridian Bank.  At the time definitive acquisition agreements were executed in August 1991, Fidelity National Financial, Inc. made an initial payment of $7 million, consisting of $1 million in cash and 500,000 shares of Fidelity National Financial Inc.'s common stock.  Payment of the balance of $14,120,000 in cash was made to Meridian Bank Inc. today.  Additionally, Meridian Bank has retained a $20 million preferred stock investment in American Title.
    Since signing the definitive agreements for the acquisition of Meridian in August 1991, Fidelity National Financial Inc. has acted as a consultant to Meridian in consolidating agency operations, reducing certain overhead costs, improving operating performance and orienting the company to direct operations that concentrate on residential resale transactions.
    William P. Foley II president and chief executive officer of Fidelity National Financial Inc., said:  "Over the last 10 months we've had an opportunity to evaluate Meridian's organizational structure and methods of operation.  In conjunction with our evaluation, we have made adjustments that have turned Meridian into a profitable title operation since March of 1992.  As a result, Meridian will make an immediate and substantial contribution to Fidelity National Financial's consolidated earnings."
    The Meridian acquisition, Fidelity's largest acquisition to date, moves Fidelity from the seventh to the fifth largest title insurance underwriter based on revenue and adds direct operations in the states of Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and North Carolina.  The acquisition increases the number of states in which Fidelity is licensed from 33 (plus the District of Columbia) to 48.
    The Meridian acquisition will also strengthen the company's balance sheet, adding approximately $86 million in investment grade portfolio assets.  The addition of these assets will balance Fidelity's earnings mix between operating and investment income.
    Headquartered in Irvine, Fidelity National Financial Inc. issues title insurance and performs other title-related services in 48 states and the District of Columbia through Fidelity National Title Insurance Co., Fidelity National Title Insurance Co. of California, Fidelity National Title Insurance Co. of Tennessee, Fidelity National Title Insurance Co. of Texas, Meridian Title Insurance Co. and American Title Insurance Co.
    -0-                      6/30/92
    /CONTACT:  Frank P. Willey, executive VP and general counsel, or Jo Etta Bandy, VP-investor relations, 714-852-9770, both of Fidelity National Financial/
    (FNF MRDN) CO:  Fidelity National Financial Inc.; Meridian Bancorp. ST:  California, Pennsylvania IN:  INS SU:  TNM CH-KJ -- LA014 -- 5289 06/30/92 15:43 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 30, 1992
Words:495
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