Nissan pushes its partner Renault to sell its stake and could raise funds – source

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Nissan Motor Co Ltd is urging its French partner Renault SA to reduce its stake in the Japanese carmaker as much as possible, ideally to 15%, and may consider raising funds to buy back the shares, a source familiar with the matter said.

The requests were made in return for Nissan agreeing to invest in Renault’s new unit being created to house its electric vehicle (EV) assets, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks are not public.

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Renault owns around 43% of Nissan, which wants its French ally to reduce the stake to 15%, equaling Nissan’s share in the alliance partner, the source said.

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Selling the stake would not affect their business alliance and Nissan may need to raise funds to buy back Renault shares, the source added.

Renault and Nissan did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

Talks about selling the stake were first reported by The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg news agency said Renault was willing to reduce its stake in Nissan, citing people familiar with the talks.

Renault is pushing ahead with plans to split its electric vehicle and combustion engine businesses in a bid to catch up with rivals such as Tesla and Volkswagen in the race for cleaner driving.

He plans to unveil a detailed plan for the new EV entity at a capital markets day this fall.

As negotiations intensify, Renault chief executive Luca de Meo is expected to attend Sunday’s Formula 1 race at Suzuka, giving him the opportunity to speak with his Nissan counterpart Makoto Uchida. another source said.

Talks this weekend are unlikely to yield concrete results, the first source said, but talks could result in an agreement before Nov. 8, when de Meo plans to present an update on his strategy.

Alliance partners Nissan and Mitsubishi have not yet said whether they will participate in Renault’s future EV unit.

The source said Mitsubishi is also considering taking a single-digit stake in Renault’s EV unit. (Reporting by Maki Shiraki and Satoshi Sugiyama in Tokyo, Akanksha Khushi in Bangalore; Additional reporting by Gilles Guillaume in Paris; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)


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