TOKYO -- Nissan will grant Renault's leaders seats on key committees of its board, signaling an end to a dispute that has poisoned relations between the two automakers.
In a statement on Frdiay, Nissan said it will give Renault CEO Thierry Bollore a seat on its board's audit committee and Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard a seat on its nomination committee. Both are key positions at the heart of decision making.
The concessions from Nissan to let Bollore on the audit committee came with strings attached. Nissan is placing restrictions on Bollore’s role in areas where the two companies might have a conflict of interest, people familiar with the matter said.
The move comes after demands by Senard for representation on the committees in return for approving Nissan's overhauled governance structure plunged the two-decade-old partnership into crisis.
Yasushi Kimura, an adviser to oil company JXTG Holdings, will chair Nissan's board and Senard will become the vice-chair. The nomination committee will be chaired by Masakazu Toyoda, the lead independent outside director.
Renault now expects to support the resolutions at Nissan's annual meeting on June 25, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified discussing the negotiations.
The partnership between Renault and Nissan has been strained since former leader Carlos Ghosn was arrested for suspected financial misconduct last year. Ghosn denies wrongdoing.
"The agreement reached on Renault's presence in Nissan's new governance confirms the spirit of dialogue and mutual respect that exists within the alliance," Renault said in a statement.
While tensions between the partners have never been higher, both sides have indicated they have little choice but to patch up their two-decade alliance. The partnership has proven one of the most successful among automakers, generating 5.7 billion euros ($6.4 billion) in savings from manufacturing, purchasing and engineering in the 2017 financial year, the companies estimate.
Still, common projects continue to emerge. The three-way alliance, which includes smaller member Mitsubishi Motors, unveiled a partnership on Thursday to explore driverless services in France and Japan with Waymo, the autonomous-vehicle unit of Google parent Alphabet.
The lopsided shareholding arrangement between Renault and Nissan has been a long-running source of friction: Renault’s 43 percent stake in Nissan comes with voting rights, while Nissan’s 15 percent holding in Renault does not. The role of France, Renault’s most powerful shareholder, has also irked Nissan.
Renault's merger talks with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles broke down this month after Nissan declined to back the deal. Following the collapse, both Renault and the French state pledged to repair the alliance with Nissan before contemplating a resumption of talks with FCA.
France, which has a 15 percent stake in Renault, views securing Nissan’s explicit backing as crucial for the success of a FCA-Renault combination. Nissan representatives on Renault’s board abstained in an informal vote on the deal last week, leading France to seek a delay.
Despite the finger-pointing that followed the failed talks, Renault, FCA and France left the door open for a possible deal as they brace for the costly changes sweeping the industry, such as developing electric and autonomous vehicles.
Bloomberg contributed to this report