Nissan (OTC:NSANY) and Renault (EPA:RENA) will make an announcement in the coming days on their restructured alliance and have finalized the deal, people familiar with the matter said, capping 10 months of sometimes tense negotiations.
Nissan has been working to define a lower threshold for its pledged, strategic investment in Renault’s electric vehicle unit, Ampere, below the 15% maximum target it announced in February, two of the people said. The size of its stake still hinges on the value of Ampere, but Nissan is likely to take less than 10% of the new unit, one of them said.
The automakers announced a framework agreement in February and had aimed to finalise the deal as early as March. Under the framework, the Japanese automaker would take the as much as 15% of Ampere and Renault would reduce its 43% stake in Nissan.
That timeline slipped when senior Nissan executives and some directors challenged detailed provisions of deal and the benefits and protections for Nissan’s intellectual property, Reuters has reported.
The announcement is expected to come in the coming days, three people familiar with the matter 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 automaker said in a statement.
Renault declined to comment. The French automaker has previously said it expects to list Ampere in an initial public offering in the first half of 2024.
Nissan’s board has been investigating a claim that Chief Executive Makoto Uchida carried out surveillance of his then-deputy, Ashwani Gupta, to acquire leverage to remove him from the company because of Gupta’s 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 at the end of June.
Nissan’s board heard the preliminary results of an investigation into the surveillance claim in June when independent directors were told Nissan had installed a camera outside Gupta’s house to monitor him, people with knowledge of that presentation told Reuters.
The board has not heard the final report on the surveillance claim, according to the three people.