Exclusive: FCA-Renault revival may hinge on Nissan stake cut - sources
JUNE 9, 2019
PARIS (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Renault SA are looking for ways to resuscitate their collapsed merger plan and secure the approval of the French carmakerís alliance partner Nissan Motor Co Ltd , according to several sources close to the companies.
Nissan is poised to urge Renault to significantly reduce its 43.4% stake in the Japanese company in return for supporting a FCA-Renault tie-up, two people with knowledge of its thinking also told Reuters.
It is still far from clear whether any concerted effort to revive the complex and politically fraught deal can succeed. FCA Chairman John Elkann abruptly withdrew his $35 billion merger offer in the early hours of June 6 after the French government, Renaultís biggest shareholder, blocked a vote by its board and demanded more time to win Nissanís backing. Nissan representatives had said they would abstain.
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Italian-American FCA - whose brand stable encompasses Fiat runabouts, Jeep SUVs, RAM pickups and Maserati sports cars - has so far turned a deaf ear to suggestions by French officials that its merger proposal could be revisited.
But since the breakdown, Elkann and his French counterpart Jean-Dominique Senard have had talks about reviving the plan that left the Renault chairman and his Chief Executive Thierry Bollore upbeat about that prospect, three alliance sources said.
Renault and a spokesman for FCA declined to comment.