Nissan does not intend to issue new shares to reduce Renault’s stake in the Japanese automaker, a Nissan spokesman said.
The battle for power between Renault and Nissan continues with contradictory declarations and reports. Japan’s Nikkei newspaper reported on Monday that the Japanese automaker was open to issuing new shares to undermine Renault’s 43.4 percent stake, the new strategy being discussed at a Nissan board meeting. If this plan is going to be put into motion, under Japan’s corporations’ law, Renault will lose its 43.4 percent share of voting rights in Nissan if the French automaker becomes at least a quarter-owned by its Japanese partner. Another “blocking” procedure would be for Nissan to raise its stake in Renault to 25 percent or higher from 15 percent to limit the influence of the French government within the alliance. And according to Nikkei newspaper, this idea was also on the meeting’s agenda.
The Nissan spokesman denied the Nikkei report. “Nissan has no plans to issue more shares,” the spokesman said, adding that the company had “nothing more to announce” regarding the outcome of the Monday board meeting. The struggle within the alliance has begun in April, when the French government raised its Renault stake to secure double voting rights, as it wanted more control over its partner. Since then, there have been back and forth statements from both sides around the subject. The move attracted a lot of criticism from Nissan, and also put Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn, who heads both carmakers, on a tough spot.