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France: Macron sees no need to lower government’s stake in Renault

 |  June 27, 2019
Renault hopes of resuming merger talks with Fiat Chrysler were dealt a blow Thursday after President Emmanuel Macron urged the French car maker to focus on generating cost savings with its partner Nissan Motor rather than reshaping their 20-year alliance.
Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday there was no need for the government to lower its stake in Renault and that he wanted the Renault-Nissan alliance to work on strengthening its synergies.

Fiat Chrysler withdrew its offer to merge with Renault earlier this month after the French government sought more time to ensure Nissan was on board with the deal. Nissan has indicated it would be willing to support the deal if there was an agreement in place for the combined company to reduce Renault’s stake in the Japanese car maker, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Mr. Macron told reporters in Tokyo, where he is on an official state visit ahead of the G-20 summit, that discussing the shareholdings was “off topic.” “We need to focus less on politics, less on finance and more on industry,” he said.

Mr. Macron said the alliance between Renault and Nissan faced a crisis when Carlos Ghosn, then-chairman of both companies, was arrested. But he referred to this as an individual situation that shouldn’t fundamentally alter the partnership between the car makers.

“Nothing in this situation justifies changing the cross-shareholdings, the rules of governance, and the state’s shareholding in Renault, which has nothing to do with Nissan,” Mr. Macron said.

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