Renault could be seeking to reduce its equity stake in Nissan Motor Company in an effort to revive merger talks with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). It’s current lopsided alliance with Nissan was ultimately the death blow to merger talks a few months ago.
The Wall Street Journal reports Renault and Nissan are in preliminary talks regarding restructuring their alliance. Citing emails and people familiar with the talks, the report suggests talks between Renault and Nissan began shortly after merger talks with FCA collapsed. Talks have allegedly been limited to only a handful of executives and directors from both sides.
Although still early, the report suggests a framework deal could be reached by September. The current alliance between the two automakers is considered unbalanced, largely because Renault owns a 43.4 percent stake in much larger Nissan, while Nissan owns only 15 percent of Renault.
As merger talks with FCA evolved, Nissan pushed back, causing the French government to also get cold feet and pull Renault out of the talks. It’s assumed that if Renault and Nissan are unable to rebalance their alliance, the odds of reviving merger talks with FCA are almost nonexistent.
During FCA’s recent earnings call CEO Mike Manley reiterated the company’s position regarding a prospective merger with Renault, calling it a “a great opportunity for us. And we believe it’s a very good opportunity for Renault.”