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Fidelity National Completes Its Takeover of Chicago Title

March 21, 2000|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Fidelity National Financial Inc. on Monday completed its $1.1-billion acquisition of Chicago Title Corp., creating the nation's largest title insurer.

Irvine-based Fidelity paid $26 cash and 1.7673 shares to acquire each share of Chicago Title stock.

Fidelity National said Chicago Title will continue to operate under its own name.

The deal gives Fidelity more than 1,000 offices and 7,000 agents. Fidelity Chairman William P. Foley II said the combined company has a 30% share of the U.S. title insurance business.

As expected, Foley formally stepped down Monday as chief executive of the Anaheim-based fast-food chain, CKE Restaurants, to devote his time to running the merged title companies. Tom Thompson was named as his replacement.

Micro General Corp., a unit of Fidelity, will absorb about 150 information technology employees from Chicago Title to assist in integrating new software products.

Fidelity said four former Chicago Title directors will join its board, which will be increased to 12 members.

As the deal neared completion in recent weeks, investors drove up Fidelity's stock price by about 50%. It closed Monday at $18 a share, up 69 cents, in New York Stock Exchange trading.

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