Nissan and Renault Start Bickering Over Nissan's New Corporate Structure

Nissan and Renault Start Bickering Over Nissan's New Corporate Structure

The decades-old alliance of Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co. descended into open enmity as the two sides sparred over governance changes at the Japanese auto maker, an apparent tit-for-tat following Nissan's refusal to endorse a deal with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.

"Following extensive deliberation, the special committee delivered a series of recommendations".

Ghosn hasn't had a chance to respond to any of the questions raised by this report, Jean-Yves Le Borgne and Francois Zimeray, the lawyers for the former boss of Renault, said in a statement on Sunday.

"Nissan finds Renault's new stance on this matter most regrettable, as such a stance runs counter to the company's efforts to improve its corporate governance".

By abstaining from the governance vote, Renault would effectively block the new governance system - which includes three committees - as adoption requires two-thirds approval.

Separately, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and Hiroshige Seko, Japan's minister for economy, trade and industry, exchanged views Monday about the Renault and Nissan alliance, and both nations reaffirmed their support for the alliance as "winning cooperation", according to the Japanese government.

Le Maire's suggestion to reduce France's stake in Renault, if such a move would strengthen the alliance, was dismissed by Nissan, which has also sought a significant reduction in Renault's stake in itself.

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Renault has signaled it will block reforms launched by Nissan in the wake of the Carlos Ghosn scandal unless it is granted representation on new board committees, a source close to the French vehicle maker has told Reuters.

It's not clear how much of Nissan Renault could relinquish without needing the merger proposal to be restructured.

While Renault understands Nissan's desire to improve its governance, the so-called three board level committees system "should not serve as a tool directed or used against Nissan's largest shareholder", the letter said.

"As now proposed, this does not seem to be the case".

"It's not a final abstention, and Renault's position can still change", the Renault source said. "As things stand, Renault has not been assured of appropriate committee representation as Nissan's main shareholder". The corporate-governance reform "was discussed thoroughly by Nissan's board and approved by all board members, including Renault's own nominees", Saikawa said in a statement. Nissan, which has long chafed against French influence, would prefer a full exit by the government, people familiar with Nissan's thinking said, asking not to be identified as the information isn't public. "If there are differences of opinion (with Renault), then I'd like for those to be discussed". "Based closely on these recommendations, Nissan's board voted unanimously to strengthen corporate governance by transitioning from a company with statutory auditors to a company with three statutory committees", said the CEO.

Nissan also appears to have been largely left in the dark on merger discussions between Renault and Fiat Chrysler, which had attempted to join forces to create the world's third-largest automaker before talks fell apart last week.

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