PARIS -- Renault said on Tuesday it had sold its 17.9 percent stake in Japanese heavy truck maker Nissan Diesel Motor Co.
On the basis of Tuesday's closing share price, proceeds would be about 24 billion yen ($228 million) or 173 million euros, although it is likely the shares would be sold at a discount.
"Given the successful revitalization and the fact that Nissan Diesel has always been a non-strategic investment for Renault, Renault has decided to divest its shares," the carmaker said.
The French company had originally acquired the shares in Japan's fourth-largest heavy truck maker in July 1999 as part of an alliance with Nissan Motor Co.
Renault sold its 43.6 million share stake in a single block through a placement with investment bank JP Morgan Securities. The bank will in turn sell the shares on the open market.
Renault would not say how much it paid for the holding in 1999 but said its holding had a value of nearly zero in its books. In July 1999, Nissan Diesel's shares traded around 200 yen, compared with Tuesday's closing price of 551 yen.
Renault said in a statement that it would report the gain from the sale only once it was completed on March 14.
Nissan Diesel's shares closed down 2.3 percent before the news. The stock hit a lifetime low of 62 yen in October 2002.
Nissan, Japan's second-biggest automaker and Nissan Diesel's top shareholder with 23.84 percent, said in a separate statement that it would maintain that stake, adding it "confirms its support for Nissan Diesel's further development".
Last month, Nissan Diesel -- once on the brink of bankruptcy -- reported a net profit of 18.46 billion yen ($175.7 million) for the nine months ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of 6.57 billion yen in the year-earlier period.
A spokesman said the truckmaker expected to continue supplying small diesel engines to Renault through a deal with Nissan Motor.