Nissan is pressing French partner Renault to cut its stake in the Japanese automaker as much as possible, ideally to 15%, and may consider raising funds to buy back the shares, according to a report published by Reuters citing a source familiar with the matter.
The demands were made in exchange for Nissan agreeing to invest in Renault’s new unit being set up to house its electric vehicle (EV) assets, said the source, who sought anonymity as the talks are not public.
Renault owns about 43% of Nissan, which wants its French ally to wind down the stake to 15%, drawing level with Nissan’s share in the alliance partner, the source said. The stake sale would not affect their business alliance and Nissan may need to raise funds to buy the shares back from Renault, the source added. Spokesperson representing both the respective companies declined to comment.
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The stake selldown talks were first reported by the Wall Street Journal and news agency Bloomberg said Renault was open to reducing its stake in Nissan, citing people familiar with the talks. Renault is pushing ahead with plans to split its EV and combustion engine businesses in a bid to catch up with rivals such as Tesla and Volkswagen in the race to cleaner driving. It expects to unveil a detailed blueprint for the new EV entity at a capital markets day this autumn.
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