Fidelity National Financial, Inc. and Stewart Information Services Corporation today announced that Fidelity will acquire Stewart through a merger agreement with an equity value of approximately $1.2 billion. The closing of the transaction is subject to certain closing conditions, including Stewart stockholder approval, federal and state regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions. Closing is expected in the first or second quarter of 2019.
“Last year, our Board initiated a review of strategic alternatives for the company, and after an extensive process, we determined that capitalizing on the Fidelity platform will best enable us to support the Stewart brand and continue providing the service our customers have come to expect,” said Thomas G. Apel, Stewart’s Chairman of the Board.
Apel further explained that “Combining with Fidelity National Financial will create a strong portfolio of customers and business relationships, and will provide us with the ability to grow the Stewart brand.”
The companies have expressed that the move is a positive one for both the companies and the industry. “I am extremely proud of Stewart’s legacy of high-quality underwriting and customer-focused service delivered by our loyal associates,” said Matt Morris, Stewart CEO. “This transaction with Fidelity is an opportunity to continue building on this legacy, enhance innovation and create a more robust company for the future.”
“Stewart is one of the most respected names in the title insurance industry, with over 125 years of providing superior customer service,” said William P. Foley, II, Fidelity Chairman.
“We know business is won and lost based on customer service and relationships, and it is important to us to not only maintain, but provide additional support to grow the Stewart brand and reach more customers. Through this transaction, Stewart will bring its experience, knowledge, and customer relationships to the Fidelity family of companies in our continued mission to be the industry leader in underwriting, customer service and operational expertise,” said Foley.
“We are excited to welcome Stewart, its employees and its customers to the FNF family,” said FNF Chairman William P. Foley, II. “The venerable Stewart brand has a long and respected history in the title insurance industry and we see tremendous potential in working with the Stewart management team to invest in and grow the Stewart brand on a national basis as part of our long-time, successful strategy of operating multiple title insurance brands under the FNF umbrella.”