Renault aims to restart Nissan merger talks within 12 months

FT reports plans signal return to strategy supported by Carlos Ghosn

Late last year Carlos  Ghosn was ousted as Nissan chairman, and arrested in Tokyo on financial misconduct charges of underreporting his salary.  Ghosn has said the charges were “meritless”.  Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

Late last year Carlos Ghosn was ousted as Nissan chairman, and arrested in Tokyo on financial misconduct charges of underreporting his salary. Ghosn has said the charges were “meritless”. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

 

France’s Renault intends to restart merger talks with Japan’s Nissan within 12 months, after which it will set sight on a bid to buy Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

The plans signal a return to the strategies supported by former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn, who held talks about merging Renault with Fiat Chrysler two to three years ago, the FT said, citing sources familiar with the matter, adding that the proposal was opposed by the French government back then.

Late last year Mr Ghosn was ousted as Nissan chair and arrested in Tokyo on financial misconduct charges of underreporting his salary. Mr Ghosn has said the charges were “meritless”.

The recent formation of a new alliance board led by Renault chairman Jean-Dominique Senard has led to an increase in confidence that the two parties can now push ahead with the merger plans, according to the FT.

Fiat Chrysler is also seeking a partnership or merger, and the company is holding talks with rivals for a deal, the FT reported.

Fiat did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment. A Renault spokesman declined to comment. Nissan said it did not comment on rumours.

– Reuters