Auto giants Nissan, Renault in talks to merge, insiders say

Auto giants Nissan, Renault in talks to merge, insiders say

A possibility would be basing the new business in the Netherlands or London, where cross Atlantic automaker Fiat Chrysler has the company's corporate charter, but has its headquarters in both the USA and Italy.

"There is nothing new, we still see lots of interest in the alliance, but people are writing more about this topic because (French President Emmanuel) Macron is pushing for the privatisation of several companies", said a source close to Nissan on condition of anonymity.

At the moment, Renault owns 43 per cent of Nissan and Nissan owns 15 per cent of Renault. According to insiders familiar with the subject, the apparent deal is looking at ending the current alliance between the companies - which added Mitsubishi into the framework in October 2016 - and combine them into a single corporation. As per the forecast, the Nissan-Renault alliance is likely to sell almost 14 million cars by 2022 as compared to 10.6 million vehicle units in 2017. Nissan shareholders would also receive shares in the merged entity in exchange for their holding. The automaker may maintain headquarters in both Japan and France. Negotiations for a possible merger are now on, headed by Carlos Ghosn, Chairman of Renault and Nissan. Nissan shares are down almost 2% over the past year, giving the company a valuation of 4.6 trillion yen ($43 billion). Both the French and Japanese governments would also have to approve a deal and may have strong opinions on where the combined company is domiciled, the people said.

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Ghosn reiterated last month that Japan wouldn't agree to a tighter structure if France remains a shareholder.

"They decide to be here or to get out", he said.

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