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Citgo’s U.S. headquarters have been torn into factions by the political battle. PDVSA last week sought to remove U.S. citizens from its board and huddled over a legal strategy to block the expected appointments. Some Venezuelan executives have been recalled to Caracas, others dismissed, and some Maduro loyalists suddenly reappeared, people familiar with the company’s operations said. Washington also has been closely involved in talks on the fate of Citgo, which owns about 4 percent of U.S. oil refining capacity. The unit runs refineries in Illinois, Texas, and Louisiana, operates fuel pipelines and terminals, and supplies a retail network of 5,500 gas station across 29 U.S. states.

Esser has been making routine decisions as Citgo’s current president, Asdrubal Chavez, and his closest collaborators have run the company from the Bahamas, where a Citgo executive office was opened last year, three people at the Houston-based firm said, The mechanics of how the new board would take over are unclear, and there are likely to be court challenges to the board’s authority, people familiar with the deliberations said, A long fight in U.S, courts could jeopardize art deco cufflinks Guaido’s attempt to control operation of Citgo’s refineries and gain access to the millions of dollars of dividends Citgo generates each year, The company has been barred from paying dividends to PDVSA and the cash is believed to have accrued on its books..

NEW YORK (Reuters) - American whiskey makers are feeling the pain after their major overseas markets imposed hefty duties on their liquor in retaliation against President Donald Trump’s tariffs on aluminum imports. U.S. global whiskey exports, which include rye and bourbons, recorded a nifty 28 percent year-over-year increase in the first six months 2018, the Distilled Spirits Council said on Tuesday. But once levies from Canada, Mexico, China and the European Union took effect, the collective whiskey exports from 37 U.S. states fell by 8 percent in the period from July to November last year, compared with the same five months in 2017, according to the Washington-based industry trade group.

(GRAPHIC: U.S, whiskey exports -, The tariff-induced drop wiped out the overseas sales gain the industry had enjoyed in the first half of 2018, the group’s data showed, “Tariffs are starting to have a negative effect on exports,” Christine LoCascio, the group’s senior art deco cufflinks vice president of international trade, told a press conference, “Many of the small distillers have felt the effect on day one.”, In 2017, American whiskey producers exported $1.1 billion worth of their products, Nearly 60 percent was shipped to the EU, 12 percent to Canada and the rest to other countries, including China..

On the other hand, the distillers fared better at home. In 2017, American whiskey rang up a 6.6 percent increase in revenues from a year earlier to $3.6 billion, the group’s data showed. In the wake of the EU’s imposing 25 percent tariffs last June, U.S. whiskey exports fell 8.7 percent in the following five months, compared with the same period in 2017. Canada’s 10 percent duties that took effect on July 1 resulted in an 8.3 percent sales decline in that country for American whiskey producers in the July-November period compared with the same period a year earlier, the group said.

LONDON (Reuters) - Pernod Ricard will embrace change and continue “constructive” talks with activist investor Elliott Management, CEO Alexandre Ricard said on art deco cufflinks Tuesday while dismissing speculation that the company could become a takeover target, The world’s second-biggest spirits group behind Diageo is under pressure from New York hedge fund Elliott Management to improve profit margins and corporate governance, Last week Pernod vowed to lift its margins and shareholder returns in a three-year strategic plan that Elliott described as a first small step..

Chief Executive Ricard, the grandson of the French drinks group’s founder, said he welcomed Elliott’s perspective. “We met in January. We will continue to have an open dialogue with Elliott in the coming weeks or months, as we do with other shareholders,” he told Reuters. A spokeswoman for the fund declined to comment on Tuesday. Ricard said talks with Elliott centred around governance and margin improvement, adding that Pernod is a consolidator rather than a takeover target.

“I hope there will be no surprise if I reiterate very clearly and specifically — Pernod Ricard is here, Pernod Ricard is here to stay and Pernod Ricard is and will remain a consolidator.”, Elliott’s arrival has raised speculation of potential dealmaking, A source close to the matter told Reuters in December that Elliott had suggested options such as merging with another spirits company, Ricard declined to comment on the likelihood art deco cufflinks that Elliott would seek a seat on the board of the maker of Absolut vodka and Martell cognac..