France wants Renault-Nissan 'operational integration', no merger: minister

10th November 2015, Comments 0 comments

France wants an "operational integration" between Renault and Nissan, Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday, but reaffirmed that a merger is "not on the agenda".

Tensions over the role of the French state in the Renault-Nissan alliance have grown, after the government raised its stake in Renault to 19.7 percent, giving it double voting rights.

Nissan, which has no voting rights in Renault, voiced its concerns at the French move, as did alliance chairman Carlos Ghosn.

"I am in favour of two things," Macron told French radio Europe 1. "The preservation of Renault-Nissan in the equilibrium that was agreed in 2002. And secondly, the operational integration of both groups."

"This is not about a merger," he said, adding that any such plan was "not on the agenda".

Work to bring both carmakers' operations closer together has been ongoing "for several years", he said.

Macron reiterated that the French state would reduce its Renault stake to below 15 percent as soon as it could do so without any capital losses thanks to an improved share price. "We're not far off," he said.

Renault owns 43.4 percent of Nissan's capital, while Nissan holds 15 percent in Renault via a subsidiary, but no voting rights.

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© 2015 AFP

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