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Fidelity National, Chicago Title Complete Deal

March 21, 2000|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Fidelity National Financial Inc. completed its $1.1-billion acquisition of Chicago Title Corp., creating the nation's largest title insurer. Under the terms of the acquisition, 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 Anaheim-based fast-food chain CKE Restaurants to devote his time to running the merged title companies. Micro General Corp., a unit of Fidelity, will also absorb about 150 information technology employees from Chicago Title to assist in integrating new software products. 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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