According to those in the know, Renault SA has made some offers in an effort to secure an agreement to restart an over two-decade partnership with Nissan Motor Co.
According to people familiar with the matter but who requested anonymity because the talks are private, Nissan’s independent board chiefs are set to meet early next week to consider a few propositions by Renault. Some individuals have speculated that these include concessions to help facilitate Nissan’s interests regarding shared protected innovation.
Nissan is reportedly considering putting some doubt in Renault’s electric vehicle (EV) business Ampere, which it is currently exiting. Renault expects a valuation of around €10 billion for the unit and is planning a first stock sale for later in the year, depending on economic conditions.
According to sources, Nissan does not agree with this valuation and has made no decision regarding Ampere at this time. It’s possible that it won’t buy exactly the 15% stake that was agreed upon in the beginning, they said.
A Renault spokesman was unwilling to comment. Nissan’s Japanese-based media representatives did not respond quickly to requests for comment.
Renault is making last-ditch efforts to secure the deal, but the concessions made by the automaker are minor, and the company’s primary focus remains the successful implementation of its clearly defined course of action and benefit. The stock price is up nearly 75% from its low point on Walk 8 — when Renault was under pressure because of a Russian business it no longer owns — to reflect the success of these efforts.
Renault has divided its company into five separate divisions and is currently in negotiations with Nissan over how to rebalance their unbalanced capital ties, which have become a source of friction between the two companies. Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida wants to move quickly with the agreement, but the free chiefs of the company are worried about the implications for the Japanese company caused by Renault’s reorganization, according to a few sources.
Concerns have also been raised about Zhejiang Geely Holding Co., a Chinese company and inheritance ignition motor partner of Renault.
French President Emmanuel Macron met with Japan’s Top state leader Fumio Kishida last week to reassure him that the French government supports Renault’s rebalancing plan and won’t look for a Renault-Nissan consolidation, giving new impetus to the discussions between the two organizations and junior union accomplice Mitsubishi Motor Corp.
The French government, Renault’s most notable financial backer with a 15% stake, has historically pushed for a merger, and this has strained relations between the two companies. As part of the rebalancing, Renault will sell 28% of Nissan over time so that both companies ultimately own 15% each.
Nissan’s e-Power cross-hybrid technology is not included in Pony, a substance Renault is developing for its inheritance of fuel-efficient motor resources, according to people familiar with the matter. The partnership between Geely and Pony will be equivalent.
Director Jean-Dominique Senard and CEO Luca de Meo of Renault are reportedly traveling to Japan at the end of the month to attend the next union working executive gathering. No decisions have been made as of yet regarding when a potential non-authoritative agreement may be marked, and the scheduling of the various gatherings may still change.
This meeting provided new impetus to the talks between the two companies and junior alliance partner Mitsubishi Motors.
One reason relations between the two companies have deteriorated over the years is that the French government, Renault’s most powerful investor with a 15 percent stake, previously pushed for a merger.
Over time, Renault will sell its 28 percent stake in Nissan so that Nissan and Renault each own 15 per cent of the combined company.
According to those familiar with the matter, Nissan has no plans to allow Horse, the new entity Renault is forming for its legacy combustion-engine assets, access to its e-Power hybrid technology as part of the proposals currently under discussion. Horse and Geely will form a 50/50 joint venture.
The next alliance operating board meeting is scheduled for the end of the month in Japan, and Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard and CEO Luca de Meo are expected to be there in person.
Planning of the various meetings is still subject to change, and no decisions have been made about when a possible non-binding agreement might be signed, the people said.
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