Ghosn received €7.8m improperly from Nissan-Mitsubishi, companies say

Nissan may consider ways to hold Ghosn responsible

Mitsubishi president and chief executive Osamu Masuko and the company’s lawyer, Kei Umebayashi, attend a news conference after a board meeting in Tokyo. Photograph: Issei Kato/Reuters

Mitsubishi president and chief executive Osamu Masuko and the company’s lawyer, Kei Umebayashi, attend a news conference after a board meeting in Tokyo. Photograph: Issei Kato/Reuters

 

Arrested auto executive Carlos Ghosn improperly received €7.8 million in compensation from a joint venture (JV) between Nissan and Mitsubishi, the companies said on Friday.

A joint investigation found that Mr Ghosn, ousted as chairman from both automakers, was compensated by the Netherlands-based JV without any discussion with two other board members, Nissan chief executive Hiroto Saikawa and Mitsubishi chief executive Osamu Masuko said.

Nissan holds a controlling stake in Mitsubishi.

Mr Ghosn, arrested and detained in Tokyo since November 19th, has been indicted in Japan on charges of under-reporting his salary for eight years through March 2018, and temporarily transferring personal investment losses to Nissan during the global financial crisis.

Mr Ghosn denies the charges against him. His lawyer, Motonari Otsuru, could not immediately be reached by telephone on Friday.

Compensation

Reuters reported earlier this week about the alleged improper compensation to Ghosn by the JV and that Nissan was considering filing for damages, citing a source.

Nissan said on Friday that it would consider ways to recover the full amount from Mr Ghosn, and Mitsubishi said it would consider ways to hold him responsible.

The latest allegations are likely to add pressure on the Japanese automakers’ partner Renault to cut ties with Mr Ghosn. Unlike Mitsubishi and Nissan, Renault has kept Mr Ghosn as chief executive and chairman, but its biggest shareholder, the French government, has been urging it to replace him.

The French automaker holds around 43 per cent of Nissan, the biggest partner in the alliance by sales and which in turn holds a non-voting 15 per cent stake in Renault. Mitsubishi became the smallest member of the three-way automaking alliance when Nissan in 2016 took a 34 per cent stake in the company. – Reuters