Renault to sell 5% stake to Nissan as carmakers rebalance alliance | Renault #Renault #sell #stake #Nissan #carmakers #rebalance #alliance #Renault

France’s Renault has said it will sell 5% of its shares in Nissan, the first step in a plan to rebalance a troublesome partnership with the Japanese carmaker.

Renault will receive up to €765m (£657m) from the sale, helping the launch of its electric vehicles unit, Ampere. However, it will book a loss of €1.5bn to reflect the sale price, which is lower than the value of the stake previously reported on its balance sheet, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

Nissan will buy the shares on Wednesday, as the two carmakers seek to reach equal 15% shareholdings in a looser version of a two-decade alliance that had become increasingly strained.

Renault and Nissan first formed the alliance in 1999 under Carlos Ghosn, the charismatic executive who hoped to make the combined carmakers – both of which he led simultaneously – into the world’s biggest automotive force. However, Ghosn’s hopes were dashed in 2019, when he was arrested in Japan for allegedly underreporting his income from Nissan.

Ghosn denied the charges but eventually fled house arrest in a dramatic escape by private jet in a musical equipment box, and the scandal – and consequent jostling for control – rocked the two carmakers. Nissan and Renault both lost chief executives in the wake of the scandal.

Renault is now led by Luca de Meo, who joined from Volkswagen with the job of stabilising the relationship. He and the Nissan chief executive, Makoto Uchida, in February agreed the outline of a new, looser alliance.

Renault will still have shares worth between €3bn and €3.5bn based on Monday’s price, according to calculations from UBS, an investment bank. However, UBS said it did not expect further share sales soon.

Under the terms of the deal, Nissan will invest in Ampere. De Meo has carved out Ampere from the rest of Renault’s operations, and is hoping to list it separately on the stock market next year. Some analysts, including UBS, have questioned the decision to list the company separately, and have estimated a much lower valuation than the €10bn hoped for by de Meo.

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Ampere will try to catch up with other carmakers producing electric cars. Renault and Nissan were initially leaders in electric car production with their respective Zoe and Leaf models, but have since fallen behind in terms of launches.

#Renault #sell #stake #Nissan #carmakers #rebalance #alliance #Renault

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