France Offers Voting Right Limitations with Renault

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Nissan Renault Service Center
Rishon Le Zion, Israel - May 4, 2015: Two-story building with exterior glass wall on second floor. It is Sales service centre for Renault and Nissan vehicles in new (western) industrial zone. Some cars are parked in front of the building.

Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault (EPA:RNO) and the Japanese branch of Nissan (OTCMKTS:NSANY), is attempting to provide more voting power to Nissan in the company’s alliance. France has been in a long power struggle with Carlos, and has even offered to limit its rights when voting with Renault.

France increased their stake in the company in April and attempted to double its voting rights. When this occurred, Nissan started to prepare a strategy that would help the company gain voting power. An emergency board meeting would force France to offer limited voting rights on November 6.

Nissan wants a better balance between the companies, rather than have France dictate the company’s future.

Renault owns a 43.4% stake in Nissan, with Nissan owning just 15% of Renault’s stock with nonvoting power. France attempted to boost their stake in the company as a way to keep jobs inside of the country and better help French interests. The country purchased 4.7% more stock to go from 15% to 19.7% where the state would have double voting power.

France has stated that they will cut the stock back down to 15%, but they would still have blocking minority power at shareholder meetings.

Nissan suggests that control of the company should be better balanced with Nissan and Renault owning 25% to 35% of all shares in each company respectively.

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