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Renault plans merger with Nissan under holding company

Bloomberg/Toru Hanai

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Each company will own about a 50 per cent stake in the merged entity, have equal board representation and the entity will be headquartered outside France or Japan, possibly in Singapore.

Sunday 28, April 2019

(Bloomberg) --Barely three months into his tenure, Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard plans to propose merging the French carmaker with alliance partner Nissan Motor Company under a holding-company framework.

Clotilde Delbos, Renault’s Chief Financial Officer, said, “What we always said, and we still say the exact same thing, is that what we want is the alliance to be irreversible, this is what we are pursuing collectively with Nissan.”

Nissan Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa rejected a request earlier this month by Senard to reconsider a merger.

The aim of the structure is to cement the alliance and secure cost savings amid a sector downturn, the proposal is one of several being discussed and Renault is seeking a plan that Nissan would support.

The deal will give the French carmaker a market value of EUR 18.1 billion ($20.2 billion), compared with Nissan’s JPY 3.77 trillion ($33.8 billion).

Roughly equal ownership would potentially address concerns raised by Nissan, which resisted an effort by former Chairman Carlos Ghosn to permanently unite the two carmakers. Renault owns 43 per cent of Nissan, while the Japanese carmaker owns only 15 per cent of its partner of two decades and has no voting power.

Saikawa was opposed when Senard made an overture earlier this month, saying the priority should be rebuilding Nissan.

Automakers have been contending with a decline in China, the world’s biggest market, and a broader slowdown elsewhere, while a shift toward electrification is placing huge demands on investment capital.

Renault’s operations are focused mostly in Europe, while Nissan is bigger in the US and China. Mitsubishi Motors is the third partner in the alliance that was dominated by Ghosn over two decades. The 65-year-old former car titan was released from jail a second time this week in Japan, where he faces charges of funnelling millions of dollars from Nissan through an intermediary for his own purposes

TAGS : Nissan Motor Company, Renault , mergers and acquisition, Carlos Ghosn, Jean-Dominique Senard

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