REAL ESTATE

Casey’s General Stores to acquire 24 Stop-n-Go locations

BY Marianne Wilson

Ankeny, Iowa — Casey’s General Stores announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire 24 Stop-n-Go locations. Twenty of the stores are located in North Dakota and four are located in Minnesota.

“We are excited about the opportunity to acquire the Stop-n-Go chain as they are a well-managed and established group of stores in a relatively new market area for Casey’s,” said Robert Myers, president and CEO. “This acquisition will be accretive to earnings in the first year of operation and will provide future earnings enhancements as we realize operating efficiencies and integrate our prepared food operations.”

Myers continued, “We hope this acquisition serves as a springboard for more Casey’s locations in the area as we continue to look for opportunities to build and buy stores in the upper Midwest.”

The transaction is expected to close in May 2014, and will be funded by a combination of existing cash and operating cash flow.

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OPERATIONS

Microsoft in global partnerships to fight cyber crime

BY Marianne Wilson

Redmond, Wash. — Microsoft Corp. announced three new global partnerships Wednesday with the Organization of American States, Europol and FIS to increase cooperation between international law enforcement and the private sector in combating cybercrime and helping build a safer Internet.

Microsoft officials signed memorandums of understanding with representatives of the three organizations during the company’s first annual Cybercrime Enforcement Summit, which brought together more than 60 leaders and experts from law enforcement, academia and the private sector to share legal and technical solutions to confront the global spread of cybercrime. The conference follows the opening last fall of the Microsoft Cybercrime Center, a state-of-the-art facility designed specifically to advance the global fight against cybercrime.

The agreements establish a framework for cooperation and are intended to spur collaboration and help Microsoft work with each of the three organizations to pursue criminal enterprises engaged in cyber crime. Microsoft, the OAS, Europol and FIS anticipate that the collaboration will enable them to strengthen their forensic and technical analysis of malware and botnets; assessment and investigation of emerging malware threats; enforcement actions against cybercriminals; and the ultimate dismantling of these criminal organizations.

"Cyber criminals are increasingly sophisticated in preying on consumers, including children and senior citizens," said Brad Smith, Microsoft executive VP and general counsel. "These agreements will help the private and public sectors fight cybercrime more effectively, while protecting our customers’ privacy."

The OAS was established in part to strengthen collaboration among its member states, which currently includes all 34 independent states of the Americas. OAS is committed to developing a culture of cyber security by taking effective, preventative measures to anticipate, address and respond to cyber attacks.

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OPERATIONS

comScore names new CEO

BY Marianne Wilson

Reston, Va. — comScore promoted president Serge Matta to the role of CEO as the digital measurement firm swung to a profit in the fourth quarter.

Matta fills the position occupied by Dr. Magid Abraham who, along with Gian Fulgoni, co-founded the company. Abraham will relinquish the CEO role and serve as executive chairman of the board of directors, assuming a position currently held by Fulgoni who will become chairman emeritus. All appointments are effective March 1.

"This announcement represents the culmination of a thoughtful, multi-year succession planning process, and the board is confident that this is the right time to elevate Serge to the CEO role," said Abraham. "The company delivered strong results in 2013, and we continue to enter into powerful partnerships that we expect to drive long-term growth and profitability, many of them conceived and driven by Serge. He has clearly demonstrated the strategic thinking, leadership ability, execution skills and client relationship skills to allow comScore to capitalize on the many exciting and transformative opportunities ahead of us. At the same time, I am excited to focus my energy and passion on driving innovation and product leadership."

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