Fidelity National Buying Title Units

IRVINE, Calif. - Fidelity National Financial Inc. said it had agreed to acquire two title insurance units from Meridian Bancorp Inc., Reading, Pa., in a two-step transaction.

Fidelity, based in Irvine, will acquire Meridian Title Insurance Co. and its subsidiary, American Title Insurance. Under the agreement, Fidelity said it acquired about $7 million of Meridian Title's preferred stock in exchange for $1 million cash and 375,000 Fidelity common shares, representing 9.9% of Fidelity's outstanding common stock.

Fidelity said it was to purchase the rest of Meridian Title's equity by Feb. 28, 1992, for cash equal to Meridian Title's adjusted consolidated net worth on that date, less the par amount of the preferred stock already purchased.

Fidelity said it has the option to defer the closing until June 30, 1992, without any addition in purchase price.

In addition, Meridian will retain an existing $20 million investment in American Title. Redemption of this preferred stock investment will depend on American Title's actual claims experience with pre-closing title insurance policies and other nontitle-related claims over 12 years, Fidelity said.

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