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Renault May Sell a Chunk of Its Nissan Stake Back to the Japanese Carmaker

Carlos Ghosn said – and still repeats – that Nissan got him arrested in Japan in a plot to prevent him from merging it with Renault. Nissan and Japan deny that was the case, but you’ll always have the impression Ghosn is right after seeing what followed. Reuters wrote that the latest move in the Alliance is Nissan trying to get Renault to sell the shares it owns in the Japanese company – possibly to Nissan itself.
Nissan want Renault to have only 15% of its shares, the same share Nissan has on Renault 7 photos
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According to people familiar with the discussions that Reuters talked to, the Japanese carmaker wants Renault to limit its shareholding in Nissan to 15%. Currently, the French company owns 43% of Nissan’s shares. The Japanese carmaker has a 15% stake in Renault – hence the new percentage. Nissan executives believe this could bring equilibrium to the Alliance that currently does not exist.

Luca de Meo was in Japan to discuss these changes over the weekend. The Renault CEO may get Nissan to invest in Renault’s new EV division, called Ampére. The French automaker recently separated it from the combustion-engined division (named Horse). Reuters said that Renault sold the old part of its business to Geely and an undisclosed oil group.

To back what Reuters reported, Nissan and Renault released a joint statement saying they “are currently engaged in trustful discussions around several initiatives as part of continued efforts to reinforce the cooperation and the future of the Alliance.” The two carmakers confirmed that Nissan might put money in Renault’s EV division and that “any further communication will be done in due course by the Alliance members.”

Reuters said the negotiations would continue before Renault’s investor presentation to talk about Ampère in early November. That may mean that the French carmaker expects to announce any changes at this presentation. For Renault, it would represent a welcome money injection. Nissan may get Japanese investors to help it fund the stock purchase, ensuring the company remains in Japanese hands.

Ghosn already criticized Nissan’s new direction. According to the former Renault and Nissan CEO, the Japanese carmaker is now a “boring and mediocre car company.” Japan and Nissan may be ok with that as long as Nissan is still a Japanese car company for years to come. It just has to escape bankruptcy and the need for foreign aid. When it failed to do so in the 1990s, Carlos Ghosn became a hero in Japan for saving it. How have times changed, right?

Editor's note: The gallery contains images of Carlos Ghosn when he established the Alliance.

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