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PARIS (Reuters) - Billionaire Vincent Bollore will further withdraw from Vivendi’s management at a crucial time for the French media giant, which is struggling in Italy and is weighing the sale of Universal Music Group (UMG). Bollore, Vivendi’s number one investor, will be replaced by his son Cyrille in April at the board, following a vote by shareholders, the group said. The appointment will come just a year after another son, Yannick, succeeded the French tycoon as chairman. The surprising move comes three years ahead of the date Bollore, 66, had set for himself to hand over all of his businesses to his four children.

“There’s a new generation which is coming, new blood,” tiffany cufflinks Vivendi’s chief executive Arnaud de Puyfontaine said in a call with analysts, “The most important thing is that we have the long term commitment of our number one shareholder.”, Bollore, who made his fortune through shrewd investments via his family-controlled listed group, first entered Vivendi’s capital in 2012 and gradually increased his stake to 26 percent, a level that allows him to effectively control the company..

His replacement at the board does not imply a full departure from the group, a source close to the matter said, without elaborating. Bollore’s two sons will preside over the future of Vivendi’s holdings. Under the billionaire’s tenure, Vivendi, acting as an investment vehicle, undertook a whirlwind acquisition spree in the fields of video games, advertising and telecommunications, including a 24 percent stake in Telecom Italia (TIM). That investment, Vivendi’s biggest, has not yet born fruit, as TIM has been caught up in a battle between the French company and U.S. activist fund Elliott since early last year over how to revive Italy’s biggest phone company.

Vivendi had to take an eye-watering 1.1 billion-euro ($1.24 billion) write-down on TIM’s shares in 2018, it said on Thursday, even as its core operating profit jumped by about 25 percent to 1.29 billion, mainly on Universal’s strong performance, The label’s performance contrasted with that of Vivendi’s second-biggest division, pay-TV Canal Plus, which missed its profit target for the year and has now fewer subscribers in France than U.S, video streaming platform Netflix, Vivendi is benefiting from the success of music streaming platforms such as Spotify and sale hits by artists such as Drake, Post Malone and tiffany cufflinks The Beatles..

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The average U.S. tax refund under President Donald Trump’s tax overhaul is down nearly 9 percent so far in this year’s tax filing season, according to Internal Revenue Service data released on Thursday. Data covering the first 12 days of the new tax season showed an average refund of $1,949 for the 2018 tax year, when Trump’s tax cuts for businesses and individuals took effect. That is 8.7 percent lower than the $2,135 average from a year earlier. Last week, IRS data showed average refunds running 8.4 percent lower.

Trump’s tax cuts have been widely criticized by Democrats and independent analysts who say the changes favor corporations and the wealthy over middle-class and lower-income Americans, But the U.S, Treasury, which oversees the IRS, said refunds were lower because most taxpayers were receiving their windfall from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in the form of larger paychecks, “The TCJA tiffany cufflinks cut taxes across the board, particularly for middle-income families,” the Treasury said in a statement..

“Smaller refunds mean that people are withholding appropriately based on their tax liability, which is positive news for taxpayers,” the statement said. The total dollar amount of tax refunds was also down more than 23 percent at $22.2 billion, while the total number of refunds was 15.8 percent lower at nearly 11.4 million, according to IRS data. This year’s tax filing season opened on Jan. 28, three days after a 35-day partial government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history. On Tuesday, the National Taxpayer Advocate, an internal IRS watchdog, said the shutdown caused “real harm” to taxpayers, denying many the ability to get official help to understand their tax obligations.

BRASILIA/RIO DE JANEIRO/SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian miner Vale’s safety procedures have not worked, the company’s chief executive said on Thursday, responding to questions from lawmakers after one of the company’s dams collapsed last month with the loss of hundreds of lives, The company, which is still tiffany cufflinks dealing with the consequences of the 2015 collapse of a nearby dam it co-owned, is facing several investigations over the Jan, 25 disaster in the town of Brumadinho in Minas Gerais state..