First Canadian Title

First Canadian Title

June 08, 2006 10:02 ET

TITLE INSURER FACILITATES CLOSING OF $1B HBC DEAL

First Canadian Title enables multi-jurisdictional transaction to close "at the boardroom table" Attention: Business/Financial Editor OAKVILLE, ONTARIO, NEWS RELEASE--(CCNMatthews - June 8, 2006) - First Canadian Title, Canada's leading provider of title insurance, has added the recent acquisition of HBC to the list of major, high profile real estate transactions underwritten by the company across Canada. The transaction involved the purchase of all HBC shares in January by South Carolina businessman Jerry Zucker in a deal worth more than $1 billion.

"The historical nature of some of the properties, along with the complexity of the land title records involved, could have threatened to delay the closing of the financing of this transaction," said John Rider, Vice President, Commercial Division, First Canadian Title. "Without title insurance, the deal would have required up-to-date surveys, full title and off-title searches and title opinions for each individual site."

Some provinces involved in the transaction (Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta) have an eight to nine day delay in registration. First Canadian Title's gap coverage - covering the time between closing the deal and the registration of documents - enabled the deal to close "at the boardroom table" in Toronto.

"The traditional means of closing a deal like this would have been very costly and time consuming," said Rider. "First Canadian Title has developed a unique process and expertise that enables multi-site transactions to close simultaneously. This allowed lawyers to focus on the structure of the deal rather than details that could hinder the closing."

According to CB Richard Ellis, the total value of investment transactions in Canada soared from $16.5 billion in 2004 to $18.6 billion in 2005. As commercial real estate transactions become more complex, title insurance has become increasingly popular.
A commercial title insurance policy can eliminate the need for costly searches while satisfying the requirements of both owners and lenders, from large commercial transactions to deals involving small business owners and investors. It allows for transactions to close on time by insuring over many known or potential defects.

"First Canadian Title provided Hbc with flexibility, creativity and security on our transaction and ensured that this deal closed in a timely manner," said Donald C. Rogers, Senior Vice-President, Hbc Real Estate & Development.

Commercial services also offered by First Canadian Title include:
- Mortgage Portfolio Services
- Registration Services
- Tax and Search Services
- PPSA insurance

Hudson's Bay Company, founded in 1670, is Canada's largest diversified general merchandise retailer with over 570 stores, including the Bay, Zellers, Home Outfitters, Designer Depot and Fields.

First Canadian Title has underwritten a number of key real estate transactions throughout Canada, including transactions involving Wal-Mart, the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization, KFC franchises across Canada, Fairmont Hotels, West Edmonton Mall, and others.

About First Canadian Title
First Canadian Title is Canada's leading provider of title insurance for residential and commercial real estate transactions and other related products and services. Established in 1991, First Canadian Title pioneered the concept of title insurance in Canada, and now issues hundreds of thousands of new policies each year. As a member of the First American Family of Companies, First Canadian Title's financial strength, stability and commitment to service excellence are second to none in the industry. Based in Oakville, Ontario, First Canadian Title employs more than 1,000 people from coast to coast. Customers include more than 15,500 lawyers and notaries nationwide, every major Canadian chartered bank, other lending institutions, real estate professionals, mortgage brokers, and builders. For more information about First Canadian Title, please visit www.firstcanadiantitle.com.

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Contact Information

  • David Doze, Pilot PMR for First Canadian Title
    Primary Phone: 416-462-0199 ext. 25
    Secondary Phone: 416-779-5560
    E-mail: david@pilotpmr.com