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Unread 2018-03-29, 08:41 AM   #1
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Default Nissan, Renault in Talks to Merge, Create New Company

  • Combined company would be run by chairman Carlos Ghosn
  • Discussions are ongoing, may not lead to an agreement



Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co. are in talks to merge, seeking to solidify their two-decade-old alliance under a single stock as an unprecedented shift toward electric and shared cars transforms the industry, people with knowledge of the matter said.

A deal would end the current alliance between the companies and marry them as one corporation, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the details aren’t public. Renault currently owns 43 percent of Nissan while the Japanese carmaker has a 15 percent stake in its French counterpart. Carlos Ghosn, the chairman of both companies, is driving the negotiations and would run the combined entity, the people

A merged giant would be a more formidable rival for Volkswagen AG and Toyota Motor Corp., allowing the partners to better pool resources as the industry shifts toward new-energy vehicles, autonomous driving and car-sharing services. While the alliance of Renault and Nissan has brought savings, the fragmented ownership structure has prevented the companies from reaping full benefits from their union.

“Size matters in the auto industry,” said Janet Lewis, an analyst at Macquarie in Tokyo. “The concern has always primarily been the French government, and somewhat Japan, because both France and Japan like to keep their national champions.”

The parties are discussing a transaction in which Nissan would essentially give Renault shareholders stock in the new company, the people said. Nissan shareholders would also receive shares in the new company in exchange for their holdings, they said. The automaker may maintain headquarters in both Japan and France.

Renault shares jumped as much as 8.3 percent, hitting the highest intraday level in more than a decade. They were up 4.5 percent at 11:25 a.m. in Paris, giving the company a market value of about 29 billion euros ($36 billion). Nissan shares are down nearly 2 percent over the past year, giving the company a valuation of 4.6 trillion yen ($43 billion).

Getting a deal done could prove very difficult, the people said. The French government owns 15 percent of Renault and may be reluctant to relinquish control over its stake or have its position watered down. Both the French and Japanese governments would also have to approve a deal and may have strong opinions on where the combined company is domiciled, the people said.

One possibility would be to base the company in London or the Netherlands, where cross-Atlantic carmaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV has its corporate charter. Fiat Chrysler maintains headquarters in both Italy and the U.S.
No Decision

No final decisions have been made and the talks, which have been ongoing for several months, may not result in a deal, they said.

A spokesman for the Renault-Nissan alliance said the group doesn’t comment on rumors and speculation, while a spokesman for the French finance ministry declined to comment. Representatives for Yokohama, Japan-based Nissan and Renault also declined to comment.

Reuters reported earlier this month that Nissan was in talks to buy the bulk of the French government’s stake in Renault, citing unidentified people. The Renault-Nissan alliance said at the time any discussion about a share transaction involving the parties was “pure speculation.”
For a Gadfly column about France’s Renault stake, click here
Ghosn has pledged to cement Renault’s partnership with Nissan, saying in February that the companies would devise a plan to “make the alliance irreversible.” The 64-year-old relinquished the chief executive officer role at Nissan last year to focus on the partnership.

The companies are seeking to double synergies to 10 billion euros by 2022 from 2016. In April, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. -- in which Nissan is the largest shareholder -- will further integrate with the alliance by joining a shared parts-purchasing organization.

The alliance forecasts unit sales of 14 million units by 2022, compared with 10.6 million last year. Volkswagen, the world’s largest carmaker, sold 10.7 million vehicles last year, while Toyota sold 10.4 million.

“To compete against the Toyotas, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi very much has to do it as one big group,” Macquarie’s Lewis said.

While the companies have claimed a multitude of benefits from their partnership, its staying power could be complicated until imbalances in the companies’ ownership structures are resolved.

Ghosn reiterated last month that Japan wouldn’t agree to a tighter structure if France remains a shareholder. He also said he isn’t trying to convince the French state to reduce its stake in Renault.

“They decide to be here or to get out,” he said. “Frankly, I don’t even open this subject. I just consider that I have the shareholders that I have and I try to satisfy them in the best way possible and as much as possible make sure that they understand our strategy and appreciate our results.”
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Unread 2018-05-13, 06:51 PM   #2
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Nissan And Renault Will Remain Separate Companies, For Now






The Japanese and French companies want to remain independent.
Renault-Nissan became the largest automaker in the world in 2017. The French and Japanese alliance reached that milestone by adding Mitsubishi into a new, three-way alliance. The partnership will help each of the three automakers cut costs and continue to grow. As it now stands, Renault owns a 43.4% stake in Nissan, and Nissan holds 15% of Renault and 34% of Mitsubishi. Despite obvious advantages to merging the companies, Renault and Nissan want to stay separate.







7









According to a report by Asia Nikkei's Yu Nakamura, the French government (a majority stakeholder in Renault) is pushing for a merger with Nissan. Despite pressure from the Renault side, Nissan Motor CEO Hiroto Saikawa isn't interested in a merger. "I see no merit" in combining the two companies, Saikawa said in an interview. "I think it would have side effects." Instead, Nissan wants to maintain the three-way alliance and make management more efficient. "The point of the alliance is to keep its members independent and maximize the growth of each," Saikawa said, adding that the current organization would "produce synergies in areas like development and production."








7










Carlos Ghosn's term as Renault CEO is set to expire, though it seems the company wants to reappoint him. Ghosn said "all options are open" when rethinking the structure of the alliance. Unlike Saikawa, who only heads Nissan, Ghosn chairs all three automakers. We have been waiting to see if Renault's influence would effect Nissan and Mitsubishi on the product side, but it seems the companies are still operating independently, for now.
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Unread 2018-06-15, 09:14 AM   #3
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Carlos Ghosn Set To Become Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s New CEO




Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn has told the Financial Times that he’s likely to step down as CEO of the French automaker before the end of his term is in 2022.

The 64-year old executive will however stay on as chairman of Renault, while moving forward as CEO and chairman of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. Renault has yet to offer an official comment on the matter.

“You can suspect before 2022 I will stop being CEO of Renault,” said Ghosn during an interview.

Ghosn is currently focused on strengthening the relationship between Nissan and Renault and better-prepare the automakers for the current industry shift towards full electric and self-driving vehicles. To focus on this, in 2017 he handed over the day-to-day running of Nissan to Hiroto Saikawa.

Of course, this isn’t the first time Ghosn has hinted at assuming a different role. Back in 2012, he stated that he didn’t want to continue doing this into his 60s, while at the start of this year, he alluded to stepping down as Renault CEO during a hearing on industry policy, saying that managing three major companies wasn’t “sustainable”.
Last September, the alliance unveiled a 2022 mid-term plan targeting increasing annual synergies of more than 10 billion euros ($11.8 billion) – a significant increase from 5 billion in 2016, reports Autonews.

Moving forward, current Renault chief operating officer Thierry Bollore could be the one tasked with CEO duties once Ghosn steps down.



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Unread Yesterday, 09:27 AM   #4
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The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance Saved $6.6 Billion Last Year Just By Cooperating

Synergy is the buzzword of the day. But it’s not just a vapid term. It can amount to serious savings, boosting very real profits for the companies involved. Just look at the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.

The largest of its kind in the industry, the Alliance saved €5.7 billion over the course of last year by cooperating between them. That works out to over $6.6 billion. (That’s right, “billion,” with a capital B.)

The Alliance includes not only the Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi brands, but several others under their respective umbrellas as well – including Infiniti, Datsun, Dacia, Alpine, Renault-Samsung, and AvtoVAZ. The participating automakers cooperate in a wide array of means, not the least of them being joint development of new platforms, components, and technologies. In addition to R&D, they also share combined purchasing power, financial operations, even logistics.

“The Alliance has a direct, positive impact on the growth and profit of each member company,” said chairman Carlos Ghosn. “In 2017, the Alliance turbo-charged the performance of all three companies including Mitsubishi Motors which saw its first full-year of synergy gains.”
2017 represented the first full year of Mitsubishi’s integration into the Alliance, helping the group increase cost savings from synergy by 14 percent (from €5b/$5.8b) compared to 2016. What’s more is that Carlos Ghosn and company plan to increase the Alliance’s synergies to over €10 billion ($11.6 billion) by the end of 2022, by which point the allied automakers target producing over 14 million vehicles between them. Last year, they sold over 10.6 billion units – which is (slightly) more than the 10.5 and 10.3 that Toyota and Volkswagen sold, respectively, over the course of the same calendar year.

In other words, if the Renault-Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance were one automotive group, it’d be the largest in the world. And it could very well complete a merger into one entity in the near future, if Ghosn has his way.
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Unread Today, 10:32 AM   #5
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'Zero' chance of Renault taking over Nissan, Mitsubishi, says Ghosn

Alliance not discussing full merger



TOKYO — Renault SA absorbing Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp is not an option as the carmakers look to strengthen their partnership while retaining their autonomy, alliance chairman Carlos Ghosn said on Friday.

"Anybody who will ask Nissan and Mitsubishi to become wholly owned subsidiaries of Renault has zero chance of getting a result," Ghosn told shareholders of Mitsubishi Motors at a meeting. He also serves as chief executive of France's Renault.

The alliance was the world's top-selling passenger vehicle maker in 2017, but as the global auto industry consolidates, it is looking to strengthen its position before the 64-year-old Ghosn, its main architect, retires in the coming years after overseeing the partnership for nearly 20 years.

We reported in March that the carmakers were discussing a deeper tie-up, which could see the French government, a major shareholder in Renault, give up influence at Renault and the French carmaker relinquish control over Nissan.

The three automakers have a unique partnership designed to leverage their combined scale to save on costs including R&D, parts procurement and production to better compete with rivals Volkswagen AG and Toyota Motor Corp.

They are also interlinked by their shareholding structure. Renault holds 43.4 percent of shares in Nissan, while Nissan owns 15 percent of Renault, with no voting rights in a partnership that began in 1999. Mitsubishi Motors joined the alliance in 2016 after Nissan took a 34 percent controlling stake in the smaller automaker.

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa has said the alliance is not discussing a "full merger."

Ghosn said that while the focus of the alliance was to sell more cars and increase profitability by reducing unnecessary duplication of processes, he wanted each of the three automakers to maintain their independence, which differentiated the group from Toyota and Volkswagen.

"We need to work together ... to find a system by which what we have today, which is working very well, can continue in the future no matter who is leading the alliance," he said.

"We need to prove that this is sustainable five years down the road, 10 years down the road, 15 years down the road."

In a Figaro interview published last week, Ghosn was upbeat about the prospect of securing a new deal for the alliance despite its extreme political sensitivity in France and Japan, saying a plan would need to be announced "well before" the end of his four-year term at the helm of Renault in 2022.


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