Nissan wants Renault to pare down 43% stake, if it’s to agree with revival of Renault-FCA merger talks

Nissan wants Renault to pare down 43% stake, if it’s to agree with revival of Renault-FCA merger talks

It has been awhile since we saw the proposed Renault and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) merger on the headlines, but here it is again, two months after FCA withdrew the merger offer.

From day one, the merger was quite a hard one to pull off, as it also involved a third party – Nissan, Renault’s long-time Japanese partner which held a grudge. The Franco-Japanese marriage has been on the rocks even before the FCA merger talks, mostly due to lopsided cross-shareholding – Nissan owns just a 15% stake in Renault, but is majority 43.4% owned by Renault. The French government – which has 15% stake and big say in Renault – wanted Nissan’s full buy in, and has been publicly named as the scapegoat. More on the family drama here.

Now, the Wall Street Journal has reported that Nissan and Renault are trying to reach a deal to reshape the alliance, in hopes of reviving Renault’s merger talks with FCA. The Yokohama-based carmaker wants Renault to reduce its big stake, according to emails seen by WSJ and people briefed on the talks.

Nissan wants Renault to pare down 43% stake, if it’s to agree with revival of Renault-FCA merger talks

Apparently, these discussions, which are at an early stage, started soon after the potential deal between Renault and FCA collapsed. Talks could extend until the end of the year, it added. The negotiations could lead to an initial memorandum of understanding on restructuring as early as September, the US business daily reported, citing emails it saw.

This latest update isn’t much of a surprise, as Renault’s majority stake in Nissan has long been a point of contention. Ex-Alliance supremo Carlos Ghosn attempted further integration in the form of a full merger proposal, and paid the price for it, so to speak – he has since been ousted by Nissan and faces criminal charges in Japan.

“We want a win-win relationship with Renault. The alliance has been successful until now because we have respected each others’ independence. If necessary, we will put our capital structure on the table. If the relationship becomes a win-lose one, the relationship will break up very quickly,” Nissan CEO Hiroko Saikawa said in June, stressing on equality.

Fundamental problems in a marriage – not an easy thing to solve without breaking up.

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Danny Tan

Danny Tan loves driving as much as he loves a certain herbal meat soup, and sweet engine music as much as drum beats. He has been in the auto industry since 2006, previously filling the pages of two motoring magazines before joining this website. Enjoys detailing the experience more than the technical details.



  • Wei Sing on Aug 05, 2019 at 10:43 am

    The working and middle classes yellow vest had suffered too much bully arrogance from their lop sided relationship win-lose one, with Renault.

    Let peers be heard since the Bastille Day parade.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2
    • Safety First on Aug 05, 2019 at 2:20 pm

      Just like the common people Viva le France with yellow vest, it’s time our common people rise up and viva le Malaisie with yellow vest as well. Tell the government enough with the broken promises!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
  • Jeremy on Aug 05, 2019 at 10:47 am

    So Nissan still want to depend on Renault tongkat but also want to have their own say & freedom. Much like a petulant teenager.

    Still dreaming of Nissan heydays and Japan past glory when they were rising rapidly back when. Now they still don’t want to accept their parent Renault holds the keys to the car, house, and wallet.

    And much like a petulant teenager, they are resorting to unscrupulous ways for their selfishness.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1
    • Celup King on Aug 06, 2019 at 12:55 pm

      Nissan should let mainland China takeover and run things. All these shenanigans would never have happened when all companies have the same goal. Look at how the local ones screw up Nissan brand, then see how the Japanese is screwing up Nissan as well. Better to let mainland China run things and Nissan will get glory once more.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • Not Toyota Fan on Aug 05, 2019 at 10:52 am

    Fiat has been a troubled financially company since God knows when. Not even worth considering this merger. The Italians are proud people and it’s Unions are a nightmare to deal with. Good luck to Renault.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
    • alldisc on Aug 05, 2019 at 1:20 pm

      Fiat does own a number of car companies including Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Lancia and Maserati.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • No different than the French, mate.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
    • 2B Pencil on Aug 05, 2019 at 5:25 pm

      Unless you are as agile and lethal as John Wick you should never pissed off the godfather condemned their business entity.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Being saved from bankruptcy by a gaijin company has been a nightmare for the prideful Japanese. They have been looking for ways to get out of Renault’s shadow as soon as Nissan stabilized years ago.

    They can always buy back the shares to regain control but at same time they still want to be in the Alliance to take advantage of cost-sharing and availability of techs from Renault and Mitsubishi.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0
  • Turn M on Aug 05, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    Yesss…. the plan is follow according to my Japanese bosses keikaku.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Avenger on Aug 05, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    Others talk about mergers while we have foolish senile old dude talking about going it alone with national flying car project powered by LPG with chassis made from bamboo.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
  • FudgeMeSideways on Aug 05, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    Bagai kacang lupakan kulit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
    • Damon Lee on Aug 05, 2019 at 3:45 pm

      Our ‘esteemed’ Tun told us to Look East and emulate. Is this what he did to his old party?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • “stressing on equality”
    What equality? Renault owns 43.4% of Nissan’s shares, while Nissan owns 15% of Renault’s shares. Is this called equality? Nissan shall buy more Renault shares and then they are equal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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