Automakers Renault and Nissan have agreed to a deep shakeup of the alliance they sealed more than two decades ago. The French group will reduce its shares in its Japanese partner from 43% to 15%, so that the two will have the same participation in the other company, as announced this Monday in a statement. With the agreement, Nissan achieves its goal of rebalancing a relationship that has not been without tension in recent years.
The Japanese manufacturer had been trying to limit the control of the French firm in its management for some time. From now on the companies will have the right to vote equivalent to their 15% participation, no more. In Renault’s current dominant scheme over Nissan, the Japanese firm had no voting rights in the French group. Meanwhile, Renault managed to get Nissan to invest in Ampere, the electric car development business unit, “with the aim of becoming a strategic shareholder.” The amount of the investment is not quantified.
The remaining 28.4% of Renault’s stake in Nissan will be transferred to a French trust, where voting rights will be “neutralized” for most decisions, while maintaining economic rights (dividends and proceeds from the sale of shares), according to the statement, which states that this agreement guarantees “balanced governance.” “Renault will instruct the trustee to sell these Nissan shares if economic conditions are reasonable for Renault, in an organized and orderly process, but there will be no obligation to sell its shares within a specific predetermined period,” he says.
The agreements are “in the process of being finalized” and the operation is subject to the approval of the boards of directors of Renault and Nissan.
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