Renault cuts Nissan stake as automakers overhaul decades-long alliance

Renault and Nissan car logos are pictured during the Brussels Motor Show on January 9, 2020 in Brussels. (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)

Kenzo Tribouillard | AFP | Getty Images

Automotive Giants Renault and Nissan agreed on Monday to restructure their decades-old alliance, in a move that will see Renault transfer 28.4% of Nissan shares to a French trust, the companies said.

Voting rights in the trust would be “‘neutralised’ for most decisions, but the economic rights (dividends and proceeds from the sale of shares) would still benefit Renault entirely until these shares are sold”, according to Monday’s announcement. Renault would ask the trustee to sell these shares if “commercially reasonable” and in a “coordinated and orderly process”.

The deal is still awaiting board approval, but would see Renault’s stake in Nissan cut from around 43% to 15%, bringing its stake to equal the Japanese company’s current stake in Renault.

The two companies could “freely exercise the voting rights attached to their 15% working interest, with a cap of 15%,” the companies said.

The automakers first signed their coalition in March 1999. Monday’s deal comes after months of intense talks.

As part of the deal, Nissan would also invest in Ampere, Renault’s electric vehicle arm, while the two companies would embark on “high value-creating operational projects” in Latin America, India and Europe.

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