"The ambition is to strengthen the links of the Alliance and to maximize the creation of value for all stakeholders", according to a joint press release.

This is a major overhaul of the marriage conditions between the two groups, which since the beginning of their union in 1999 have experienced good times but also serious crises of confidence.

The tensions between the two groups, linked to the original imbalance of their cross-shareholdings, had reached their climax after the spectacular fall of their common boss Carlos Ghosn, arrested at the end of 2018 in Japan on charges of financial embezzlement and who fled to Lebanon a year later.

Renault and Nissan will each hold 15% of the capital of the other, "with an obligation of conservation, as well as an obligation to cap their participations", according to a joint press release.

However, the French group will not immediately sell the rest of its Nissan shares (28.4%) because their market value is much lower than their value currently recorded in its accounts.

Also, to avoid massive depreciations, Renault will transfer this tranche to a trust based in France, where the voting rights attached to these shares will be "neutralized" for most decisions, it is specified in the press release.

Renault will, however, continue to receive dividends on these securities until their actual sale, for which no specific deadline has been set.

Put an end to the "frustration"

Nissan already held 15% of Renault but was deprived of the voting rights of this stake, a restriction which will now be lifted.

However, it is not a "victory for Nissan over Renault", assured a French source familiar with the matter interviewed by AFP a few months ago.

Because if the "frustration" of Nissan on its unequal relationship with Renault was very visible, Renault was also dissatisfied with the situation, which it wanted to "normalize" so that their cooperation becomes more effective and accelerates, according to this same source.

In addition to the authoritarian management of Mr. Ghosn, Nissan had also been scalded by the surprise increase of the French State's share in the capital of Renault in 2015 and by recurring merger projects between the two groups at the initiative of Paris. .

Nissan will also invest in Ampere, the future electric pole of its French partner, to become a "strategic shareholder".

The amount of this commitment has not yet been specified.

New operational projects between Renault and Nissan are also planned in Latin America, India and Europe, according to the press release.

The agreements on all these different aspects "are being finalized" and have yet to be validated by the respective boards of directors of the two groups.

More detailed announcements should be made on February 6, a source familiar with the matter told AFP last week.

© 2023 AFP