The French government is already making a list of demands it would need to approve a potential merger between Renault and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The demands center around the new, combined automaker guaranteeing industrial jobs.
French finance minister Bruno Le Maire was interviewed on radio on Monday, publicizing the governments wishes for the merger. According to Reuters, Le Maire spoke favorably of the proposed merger, saying it was a “good opportunity” for Renault and the European auto industry as a whole. Then he listed conditions the government would impose on the merger.
“The first: industrial jobs and industrial sites. I told the Renault chairman very clearly that it was the first of the guarantees I wanted from him in the opening of these negotiations. A guarantee on the preservation of industrial jobs and sites in France,” said Le Maire.
Reuters reports sources close to the merger talks have confirmed the automakers are prepared to agree to industrial job guarantees, which could leave room for white collar job reductions within the combined entity.
The French government currently owns a 15 percent stake in Groupe Renault, meaning their buy-in on the proposed merger is paramount to making it happen. As of now the French government would end up owning a 7.5 percent stake in the combined entity should the merger take place.
While getting the French government on-board is one major hurdle, analyst caution that’s just one of many hurdles. The merger is likely to face challenges from the Italian government on the Fiat side and labor unions.
Speaking of hurdles, Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard is currently in Japan to discuss the potential tie-up with Renault’s partner Nissan. Nissan’s blessing to the marriage is consider another critical point for seeing the $35 billion merger become a reality.