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First Advantage Buying Lead Co.

First Advantage to acquire LeadClick

November 10, 2005

By MortgageDaily.com staff

First Advantage Corp. is on a buying spree, with its latest $150 million acquisition giving it a majority interest in a lead-generating company.

First Advantage and First American Corp. recently announced the acquisition of 75 percent ownership interest in LeadClick Media Inc. First American contributed $45 million to the deal, while First Advantage provided the balance in a combination of cash, stock and notes.

The agreement, which has First Advantage owning 70 percent of the initial equity stake, calls for the acquisition of the remaining 25 percent over the next three years from LeadClick shareholders, according to the announcement.

San Francisco-based LeadClick Media reportedly provides online lead services to the real estate and financial services markets, screening over 20 million online visitors each month.

The merger of LeadClick's services with those of the two St. Petersburg, Fla.-based companies will enhance the consumer lifecycle within the mortgage industry, among other things, according to the announcement.

"These lead generation data services will complement both First American and First Advantage by adding a valuable line of high quality business leads that we can sell to our customers," said Parker S. Kennedy, chief executive officer and chairman of the respective companies. "The services will improve the sales efficiency of our customers, helping them to close more transactions and, in turn, consume more of our other products and services."

LeadClick will form part of First Advantage's Data Services segment, the announcement said.

"With the backing of these industry leaders, LeadClick not only gains access to thousands of established clients, but also gains the leverage and credibility to pursue Fortune(R) 500 business," said Robert Afshar, LeadClick founder and CEO, in a statement.

First Advantage recently announced it acquired the mortgage credit reporting assets of Credit Data Services, giving it a business that provides mortgage credit and real estate services to national lenders and mortgage brokers, with a concentration of customers in the Southeast.

That deal was preceded by the acquisition of the credit information group of First American Corp.

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