Possible Nissan-Renault fusion denied
Since the French state, still shareholder of Renault, suggested that it would be very happy with a complete Nissan-Renault fusion, the Renault shares soared, but this possible scenario has now been denied by all parties.
It may have been a rumour only, but the reaction of the market was clear: it would be happy with a complete fusion between car makers Nissan and Renault, already partners in a cooperating alliance and partly shareholders of the other company.
These rumours were also fueled by the fact that Renault and the French state (still owning 15% of the French car manufacturer) are talking about selling this state participation to the Japanese partner.
Denied by everyone
When this information was published by Reuters there was an avalanche of denials about a possible fusion from all parties involved. The Alliance itself talked about “pure speculations”. Bruno Le Maire, speaking for the French government, totally denied that the state would consider selling its share in Renault.
Furthermore he confirmed “that a Dutch foundation of the new company would totally be unacceptable for the French government”. At the moment the Alliance has its official main office and legal headquarters in the Netherlands.
In a scenario evoked by Reuters the CEO of the Alliance, Carlos Ghosn, was planning to have a new decision making structure for the Alliance, primarily based in the Netherlands. The operational management for the three companies (Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi) would have been based there and a fusion would be the next step.
If Nissan would buy the 15% stake of the French government in Renault, it would own 30% of Renault and would finally have voting rights within the Renault board. Renault, having 44% of shares within Nissan, has already voting rights in Nissan at the moment. In this way the rights would be better balanced.
Reuters’ announcement made the shares of Renault going up on the stock market on Wednesday (+12%) but they fell back a little later, ending at +5% at the closing of the market on Wednesday and losing still a few per cent yesterday when denials were made public.