Renault warns it'll block Nissan's governance reshuffle, says report

Burlingame California. Fiat Chrysler announced that it has withdrawn a proposal to merge with French automaker Renault

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Nissan responded in some of its frankest language yet against its top shareholder, calling the demand "most regrettable".

"The management of Renault and the management of Nissan must resolve their difficulties and misunderstandings as soon as possible", he said Monday in the Japanese capital, where he is meeting Japanese officials after this weekend's gathering of G20 finance ministers. "Nissan finds Renault's new stance on this matter most regrettable, as such a stance runs counter to the company's efforts to improve its corporate governance".

But Renault and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are looking for ways to breathe new life into their moribund merger and secure Nissan's approval, Reuters reported on Monday.

The move would mean the proposed changes fall short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass.

Renault is pushing for a full merger between the pair but there is deep scepticism of the plan at Nissan. "As now proposed, this does not seem to be the case".

Relations between Renault and Nissan have been tested over the arrest in November of their joint boss Ghosn, who awaits trial in Japan on charges of financial misconduct.

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The report added, however, that Renault's position may change, citing sources familiar with Senard's approach. As one source told Reuters, the French carmaker's significant stake in Nissan is "an intrinsic part of the value of Renault". "The second step will be consolidation - only if all parties are on board".

"It's shocking behaviour from a shareholder that has been saying for months that it supports us in strengthening our corporate governance", the Nissan source said.

It's not clear how much of Nissan Renault could relinquish without needing the merger proposal to be restructured. The French government owns 15 per cent in Renault. The French finance minister, who seeks to strike a hard balance between giving autonomy to the companies and pushing a deeper integration between the two, told reporters Sunday that it wasn't "his role" to meet with Nissan's CEO. "If there are differences of opinion, then I'd like for those to be discussed", he told Japan's Jiji news agency.

In March a Nissan-appointed outside team recommended the formation of the three committees to improve its corporate governance.

But they also say Nissan has been hoping to get more say in the alliance because until recently it was more profitable than Renault. The Japanese government has also played its part - including by intervening to defend Nissan's independence from Renault a year ago.

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