TOKYO – Renault Group and Nissan have agreed on a basic framework for rebalancing their decades-old alliance in which Renault will reduce its controlling stake in Nissan to 15 percent from 43 percent, while Nissan will take a share in a new electric vehicle spinoff from Renault.
In joint statements on Monday, Nissan and Renault said the proposal was still subject to approval by their boards and that a formal announcement will come "immediately" after approval.
People familiar with the long-running talks, which began early last year, said the final structure of the deal was expected to go before the boards for review and approval as early as this week.
An announcement could happen as early as Feb. 6.
"The ambition is to strengthen the ties of the Alliance and maximize value creation for all stakeholders," the companies said.
Under the proposal, Renault will reduce its 43 percent stake in Nissan to 15 percent, matching the 15 percent stake Nissan holds in Renault. Both sides will be able to exercise voting rights up to 15 percent. Currently Nissan has no voting rights attached to its stake – a longtime source of contention.
Renault will transfer 28.4 percent of its share to to a French trust, where their voting rights would be "neutralized" for "most decisions," the companies said. But Renault would retain rights to dividends and share-sales proceeds, thereby preserving the value of the holding.
The trustee will sell the shares "if commercially reasonable for Renault Group in a coordinated and orderly process," the statement said, but there is no obligation to sell in a set period of time.