Nissan in talks to purchase France’s Renault stake in merger prelude

by SpeedLux
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Renault and alliance partner Nissan are talking about plans for a better tie-up where the Japanese automaker would get the bulk of the French state’s 15 percent Renault holding, people near to the matter informed Reuters.

The automakers are in talks with government officials about proposals by Renault-Nissan manager Carlos Ghosn that would see Paris quit it’s influence at Renault and the automaker relinquish control over Nissan, according to three sources.

However any deal still concerning considerable obstacles – not least its extreme political sensitivity in France – and has yet to win government approval, they said. To do so, it should balance French and Japanese interests, avoiding the look of a takeover.

“Any conversation about a share deal involving Renault, Nissan or the French state is pure speculation,” Renault-Nissan representative Jonathan Adashek stated. The alliance “has no plans to change the cross-shareholding ratio of its member companies”, he stated.

An official at the French finance ministry stated the government absolutely rejected it was ready to sell its Renault shares to Nissan.

The sources stated Renault was being advised by BNP Paribas and Nissan by Nomura on the planned stake sale, which would happen either as part of a broader Renault-Nissan combination or as a “stepping stone” en route to one. The banks did not respond to requests for remark.

Ghosn has likewise proposed an interim structure that would see management of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors overseen by a Dutch foundation as a prelude to their combination as an international automobile group based in Amsterdam, sources stated.

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