Renault agrees to reduce Nissan stake in historic shift

TOKYO – Groupe Renault and Nissan have agreed a basic framework to realign their decades-old partnership from Renault.

In a joint statement on Monday, Nissan and Renault said the proposal was still subject to board approval and that a formal announcement would be made “immediately” after approval.

The final structure of the deal is expected to be submitted to the board for review and approval as early as this week, according to people familiar with the lengthy negotiations that began early last year.

The announcement could come as early as February 6th.

“The goal is to strengthen the bonds of the alliance and maximize value creation for all stakeholders,” the companies said.

Under the proposal, Renault would reduce its 43% stake in Nissan to 15%, matching Nissan’s 15% stake in Renault. Both parties can exercise up to 15% voting rights. Nissan currently has no voting rights attached to its shares. This has long been a source of controversy.

Renault transferred 28.4% of its stake to a French trust where voting rights would be “neutralized” in “most decisions”, the companies said. However, Renault retains rights to dividends and share capital gains, thereby preserving its holding value.

The trustee plans to sell the shares “if it is commercially reasonable for the Groupe Renault in a coordinated and orderly process”, but is not obligated to do so within a certain period of time, he said.

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