If you did not know who is the biggest shareholder in Renault SA, we’re telling you that it’s a country, yes, it’s France. And France is upset about the possibility of a merger between Nissan Motor Co. and the other carmaker, both of which are forming an alliance at the moment.
The country’s Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, said for Europe 1 radio that “What we want is to conserve the alliance. We don’t desire a merger.” Valls added that there are no heated debates taking place around the alliance and the French country and that he trusts the executives of Renault and Nissan. However, he explained that the government might reduce its stake in Renault from 19.7% to around 15%.
How has the alliance brought along tension lately? The French government bought a bigger stake in Renault and made this move without informing Carlos Ghosn, who is the CEO of both automakers. While receiving support from Renault’ board of directors, Ghosn is set against the government’s attempt to recur to a new rule called the Florange law that requires getting double voting rights as an investor with future prospects. Other Renault board members include former Danone SA CEO Franck Riboud and former Hermes International CEO Patrick Thomas, who also opposed the so-called Florange law. The comment got 10 independent directors out of a 19-member board to cancel the possibility of the Florange law.
Meanwhile, France has promised it would sell back its extra 4.7% stake when the market conditions improve, without giving a certain time frame.