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Cybersecurity Firm Swimlane Expands Into Africa And Other Regions, Offers Security Operation Requirements

Swimlane has announced its expansion to the Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META)

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Swimlane, a security automation company that provides cloud-scale, low-code security automation for organizations, has announced its expansion to the Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META) followed by an appointment of Ashraf Sheet as vice president of the region.

The platform will provide maximum flexibility for META organizations with cloud, on-prem and air-gapped deployment options for secure-access environments.

The newly appointed Vice President of the region (META) Ashraf Sheet is an accomplished sales leader with more than 20 years experience in the cybersecurity market. He has held progressive roles leading sales and channel teams across local and multinational companies including InfoBlox and LinkShadow.

Throughout his career, Sheet has established himself as a trusted advisor to many of the world’s most-recognized brands across the Middle East, Turkey and Africa.

While speaking on what innovative solutions the firm and the Vice President of the region (META) Ashraf Sheet will bring, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales for Swimlane Jim Pickering said,

“Ashraf brings immense credibility and go-to-market experience throughout META, and I’m excited to have him lead Swimlane’s expansion in the region.

“Our unique low-code approach to security automation is a game-changer for security teams in META, offering a solution that meets the region’s most-demanding and constantly evolving security operations requirements.”

He further added that the region’s vice president will be responsible for expanding Swimlane’s sales and technical teams across the region, as well as onboarding strategic channel partners and distributors to expand the company’s presence and market share.

Earlier this year, the firm raised a $70 million growth funding round led by Activate Capital which Swimlane disclosed that it will be used to accelerate the company’s ongoing growth and operations on a global scale while continuing to advance its platform innovations in security automation ahead of the competition.

Swimlane has transcended traditional SOAR and risen to meet the growing need for low-code security automation to help organizations quantify business value, overcome process and data fatigue, and combat chronic staffing shortages.

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Nigerian Breweries Records $99 Million Foreign Exchange Loss, CEO Reveals

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Nigerian Breweries, a subsidiary of Heineken NV, has faced a setback as it disclosed a $99 million foreign exchange loss in its recent financial report.

The revelation was made by Hans Essaadi, the CEO of Nigerian Breweries Plc, during an investor call held in Lagos.

Essaadi attributed the loss to a myriad of economic challenges gripping Nigeria, including the drastic devaluation of the naira and cash scarcity resulting from the nation’s demonetization program.

He explained that the mainstream lager market witnessed a significant decline due to consumers’ inability to afford products like Goldberg after a hard day’s work.

The naira’s depreciation, losing approximately 70% of its value against the dollar since June, has exacerbated inflation to almost 30% in January.

These economic upheavals have placed immense strain on household incomes, especially in a nation where a significant portion of the population lives in extreme poverty.

Despite recording a 9% increase in revenue to 599.6 billion naira, Nigerian Breweries reported a staggering net loss of 106 billion naira for the fiscal year 2023, a stark contrast to the 13.18 billion naira profit from the previous year.

In response to the ongoing challenges, Nigerian Breweries aims to source more raw materials locally to mitigate foreign exchange risks.

The company has also implemented higher product prices effective February 19th to navigate through the turbulent economic landscape.

Despite the bleak financial report, Essaadi affirmed Nigerian Breweries’ commitment to weathering the storm, expressing confidence in the company’s portfolio, processes, and personnel to navigate the challenging market conditions ahead.

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Barclays Plc Shares Surge 6.9% on £10 Billion Shareholder Payout Announcement

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Shares of Barclays Plc surged by 6.9% following the announcement of a monumental £10 billion shareholder payout.

The British banking giant’s decision to return such a substantial sum to its investors marks a significant milestone in its financial strategy.

The announcement comes in the wake of Barclays’ robust performance, culminating in a return on tangible equity of 9% for the fiscal year 2023.

Demonstrating a forward-looking approach, the company aims to elevate this metric to above 12% by the year 2026, underlining its commitment to sustained growth and profitability.

Chief Executive Officer C.S. Venkatakrishnan expressed Barclays’ dedication to optimizing its operations and enhancing shareholder value.

By implementing rigorous cost-cutting measures, the company plans to reduce costs by £2 billion over the coming years.

The restructuring efforts extend to the reorganization of Barclays into five distinct divisions, each strategically positioned to cater to diverse client needs and optimize service delivery.

The surge in Barclays’ shares reflects investor confidence in the bank’s strategic direction and its ability to deliver on its promises.

The appointment of new leadership roles and the realignment of business divisions underscore Barclays’ proactive stance in adapting to evolving market dynamics and regulatory landscapes.

Barclays’ pledge to streamline operations, bolster returns, and prioritize shareholder interests positions it favorably within the competitive financial landscape.

The £10 billion shareholder payout announcement signals a pivotal moment for Barclays Plc, solidifying its status as a formidable player in the global banking arena and setting the stage for sustained growth and value creation in the years ahead.

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Merger and Acquisition

Capital One Financial Corp. to Acquire Discover Financial Services in $35 Billion Mega Deal

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Capital One Financial Corp. has announced its intention to acquire Discover Financial Services in a $35 billion deal.

This strategic acquisition positions Capital One as the largest credit card company in the United States by loan volume, intensifying competition with Wall Street’s prominent players.

Under the terms of the agreement, Capital One will purchase Discover at a premium, offering 1.0192 of its own shares for each Discover share—a 26.6% premium based on the closing price on February 16th.

Pending regulatory and shareholder approvals from both entities, the deal is anticipated to conclude in late 2024 or early 2025.

The merger between Capital One and Discover represents the most significant global consolidation this year, surpassing notable acquisitions in various sectors.

By combining forces, Capital One and Discover unite two esteemed consumer-finance brands, effectively eclipsing competitors such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. in US credit-card loan volume.

This acquisition not only amplifies Capital One’s market share but also grants the company a formidable position within the payment networks sphere.

Capital One’s CEO, Richard Fairbank, described the merger as a “singular opportunity” to establish a robust presence alongside the largest payment networks, underscoring the transformative potential of the deal.

Upon completion, Capital One shareholders will possess approximately 60% ownership of the consolidated entity, with Discover shareholders owning the remaining stake.

The acquisition is expected to yield significant synergies, generating $2.7 billion in pretax benefits.

The strategic rationale behind the acquisition underscores the increasing importance of scale and technological capabilities in the financial sector.

By leveraging Discover’s extensive network and Capital One’s expertise, the combined entity aims to drive innovation and enhance value for customers in an ever-evolving market landscape.

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