A new provision in the marriage contract. The French and Japanese automakers Renault and Nissan revealed on Monday a change in strategy within their agreement. The French company will reduce its share in the capital of the Japanese group (43.4% to 15%), to rebalance the union.
This is a major overhaul of the marriage conditions between the two groups, which since the start of their alliance in 1999 have experienced good times but also serious crises of confidence.
The tensions between the two groups, linked to the original imbalance of their cross-shareholdings, had reached their climax after the spectacular fall of their common boss Carlos Ghosn, arrested at the end of 2018 in Japan on charges of financial embezzlement and who fled to Lebanon a year later.
Nissan to invest in Renault’s electric subsidiary
Renault and Nissan will each hold 15% of the capital of the other, “with an obligation to retain, as well as an obligation to cap their holdings”, according to a joint press release.
However, the French group will not immediately sell the rest of its Nissan shares (28.4%) because their market value is much lower than their value currently recorded in its accounts. Nissan already held 15% of Renault but was deprived of the voting rights of this stake, a restriction which will now be lifted.
Nissan will also invest in Ampere, the future electric pole of its French partner, to become a “strategic shareholder”. The amount of this commitment has not yet been specified. More detailed announcements are expected on February 6.