renault: Renault cuts Nissan stake to 15% after transferring shares to trust

France’s Renault has cut its stake in Nissan to 15% from about 43% by placing 28.4% of the Japanese automaker in a French trust, the alliance partners said in a statement, putting them on equal footing of cross-ownership.

The new agreement for the restructured alliance between Renault, Nissan and junior partner Mitsubishi Motors came into effect on Wednesday, the automakers said in the statement.

“This next chapter of the alliance will build on the foundations of the long‐standing partnership and will maximize value creation for each alliance member,” the statement said.

Renault has no obligation to sell the Nissan shares that were transferred to the trust within a specific time period, according to the statement.

The French carmaker can sell the entrusted shares flexibly in coordination with Nissan, and the Japanese automaker or a third party may get a right of first offer, the statement said.

Nissan and Renault finalised the terms of the deal in July after unveiling a sweeping overhaul of their partnership in London early this year, after months of intense negotiation amid the Japanese automaker’s concerns about protecting its intellectual property in future collaborations. The companies had already said in January that Renault would put roughly 28% of Nissan in a French trust to make them more equal partners. Nissan has as part of the deal committed to invest up to 600 million euros ($641 million) in Renault’s electric vehicle unit, Ampere, consistent with it being a strategic investor and securing a board seat on the company.

Mitsubishi has separately committed to invest up to 200 million euros in the unit, which Renault hopes to list on the market through an initial public offering by next spring.

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