Monday, November 24, 2008

Not Creating a Title Insurance Behemoth

Fidelity National Financial, Inc. (NYSE: FNF - News) canceled its plans to acquire LandAmerica Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: LFG - News) . The combination would have created a behemoth that controlled almost half of the title insurance market.

Under the agreement, Fidelity National had discretion to terminate the merger on or before Nov. 21 under its contractual due diligence termination right. Fidelity exercised that termination.

LFG's stock price plunged over 80% today on that news. On Nov. 10, LandAmerica reported in its third-quarter results that it was no longer in compliance with financial debt covenants and hadn't yet obtained waivers, putting into a growing list of companies with "growing concern doubts."

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