Nissan, Renault ready to announce new alliance deal in days -sources

By Maki Shiraki and Daniel Leussink

TOKYO (Reuters) -Nissan and Renault will make an announcement in the coming days on their restructured alliance and have finalised the deal, three people familiar with the matter said, capping 10 months of sometimes tense negotiations.

The automakers announced a framework agreement in February and had aimed to finalise negotiations as early as March. Under the framework, the Japanese automaker would take as much as 15% of Renault’s new electric vehicle unit, Ampere, while Renault would reduce its 43% stake in Nissan.

That timeline was extended when senior Nissan executives and some directors challenged detailed provisions of deal, citing the need to better protect Nissan’s intellectual property, Reuters has reported.

The delay complicated Nissan’s drive to put its decades-long relationship with Renault onto a more equal footing. Nissan executives sought to rebalance the alliance built by former Chairman Carlos Ghosn after his ouster sent the automaker into turmoil.

Nissan has been working to establish a lower threshold for its pledged strategic investment in the Renault unit that would be below the 15% maximum it announced in February, two of the people said. While the size of the investment ultimately hinges on the value of Ampere, Nissan is likely to take less than 10%, one of them said.

All of the people declined to be identified because the information is not public.

“Nissan and Renault are engaged in constructive and ongoing negotiations. We will make a statement in due course when the agreements are concluded,” the Japanese company said in a statement.

Renault declined to comment. The French automaker has said it expects to list Ampere in an initial public offering in the first half of 2024. Sources have said the unit could be valued at up to 10 billion euros ($11.2 billion).


Renault wants to attract more investors to Ampere, given the massive investment required for connected cars. Nissan and Renault’s junior partner, Mitsubishi Motors, has also indicated it may invest in the company. U.S. chip giant Qualcomm has already said it will invest.

Discussions have focused on how to deal with future IP – including technology that may not yet exist, one of the people said. A Mitsubishi spokesperson said it was still considering investing in Ampere but that nothing had been decided.

Talks have also been delayed as Nissan’s board has been forced to deal with a claim that Chief Executive Makoto Uchida carried out surveillance of his then-deputy, Ashwani Gupta, after Gupta voiced opposition to some terms of the new partnership with Renault, Reuters has reported.

Gupta, who had been chief operating officer and was widely seen as a candidate to become Nissan’s CEO, left Nissan in June. The board has not heard the final report on the surveillance claim, according to the three people.

By closing out the restructured Renault deal, Nissan executives have the opportunity to pivot to other challenges, including a medium-term strategy update and a change in approach to China, where Nissan’s sales, and those of other global automakers, are in decline.

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(Reporting by Maki Shiraki and Daniel Leussink; Editing by Kevin Krolicki, David Dolan, Christian Schmollinger and Sharon Singleton)