Carlos Ghosn Reportedly Pushed For Renault-Nissan Merger Against The Japanese Company’s Will

The official story behind Carlos Ghosn’s arrest in Japan is that he underreported earnings, used company assets for personal gains, and falsified financial statements.

All are serious accusations and it remains to be seen what the executive’s attorneys have to say in his defense. However, would Nissan risk a crisis for itself and its Alliance partners altogether just to punish Ghosn for his alleged misdeeds? Couldn’t the company have solved this problem behind closed doors?

After all, history proves things like that are often done at the top of the food chain of the automotive industry.

Ghosn reportedly pushed for a Renault-Nissan merger set to launch within months

As it turns out, there may be more to this story and Nissan may have had more serious reasons to take Ghosn down. According to a report from The Financial Times, Carlos Ghosn had been planning to take the Renault Nissan Alliance one step further and fully merge the two companies — despite repeated denials from his part.

That was something Nissan’s board couldn’t let happen, as it would equate to the Japanese company’s total surrender to Renault. The report cites three sources who said the bid was expected to materialize “within months.”

Why would a merger with Renault be bad for Nissan, though? Well, at the moment, the two companies own shares in each other in an arrangement set up almost two decades ago. But things are far from balanced.

Renault has a 43-percent stake in Nissan which gives it unusual power over the Japanese company, including the ability to appoint senior executives. On the other hand, Nissan owns just 15 percent of Renault which gives it no voting rights or control over its French partner.

Nissan board’s position was always to fight “very hard” against any reorganization contrary to the company’s interests

A merger would render that partnership irreversible, taking away Nissan’s option to withdraw from the newly-formed conglomerate. That’s why Carlos Ghosn’s push for a union met fierce resistance from the Japanese company’s board.

“The board always said they would fight very hard against any reorganization that entrenched that second-tier status,” one person close to the board told the paper.

Now, we’re not saying that Nissan set up a trap for Ghosn, but the executive did seem to be caught off guard when he landed at Haneda airport on Monday afternoon.

The report says Ghosn “appeared unaware of any investigation” and had flown to Japan to meet the governor of Tokyo on Wednesday. Much to his surprise, the “welcoming committee” consisted of Tokyo prosecutors and reporters of the Asahi newspaper.

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  • mihsf

    Not surprising.

  • As I had stated before here, and was criticized, this is a set-up. People have no idea how business is conducted in Asia, Russia and the Middle East. Hint, it occurs exactly like what’s happening to Ghosn.

    • Andrewthecarguy

      I must agree with you here. This reeks of a setup, and now we know why.
      The merger would have cost a lot of jobs, I wonder why the alliance wasn’t just made stronger. When you think about it, most companies would benefit more when there are wider networks and more resources to pull from.

      • Stephen G

        When Ghosn took Nissan over he cut lots of jobs to cut costs and save the company. He was lauded as a hero.

    • Stephen G

      How do you set somebody up to use company assets for personal gain and falsify financial statements?

      • Smith

        Easy when you have Execs in the same company and government officials wanting to make this happen. Strange how quick Nissan was to dump his ass, even before he was found guilty.

        • Stephen G

          “Easy” is not an answer and your accusation of conspiracy is ridiculous. If the evidence is blatant and obvious then he is guilty. Catching an employee in the act of stealing is finding them guilty. They only have to be “found” guilty before entering prison. And there are many people that loose their jobs for breaking the law and never enter the judicial system. You can’t leave a fox in charge of the hen house until his trial.

        • Stephen G

          Nissan wasn’t quick to dump him, there was an intensive investigation.

      • Kangaroo Court, we have not heard Ghosn side yet. Those 2 companies have a very complex structure. Don’t be so quick to judge when you have only heard one side.

        • Stephen G

          I have not offered a judgement. Just asked questions. But what do you really think Ghosn response will be?

          • And I have also asked questions as well. You are the type of person to accept the “official story” without much evidence. I guess you believe the Saudi version of events of the Kashoggi assassination.

          • Stephen G

            The “official story” is not the Saudi version.

          • It is. because it occurred on their territory.

    • Smith

      I am told that this was a sore spot for Japan as they did not like a non Japanese as CEO of a big Japanese company, I believe this was planned, for sure.

      • Stephen G

        This guy was a God in Japan. They did crazy stuff like naming food after him!

    • Mr. EP9

      Sorry, but you’re going to have to bring some really compelling evidence that he was set up. An investigation found 5 years worth of this activity. That doesn’t sound like a set up that sounds like he got caught red handed and is now being punished.

    • David Russell

      Underhand is a pretty good description.

  • Smith

    It is funny, the more you read the more you start to believe that the Japanese really hated having a Frenchman as the CEO of Nissan and they did everything they could to bring him down. My sources tell me that many Japanese CEO have reported salaries below their actual but usually get a slap on the wrist, but this was obviously a play that has been in the works for some time. Even before he is found guilty, the Nissan execs are stabbing him in the back and dumping him, as quick as they can. Looks like they were just waiting for an excuse, anything to get rid of him.

    • Ronald Roman

      Your sources? Reliable, I bet…

  • Rick Alexander

    So here`s my question. If the Japanese (Nissan) were so vehemently opposed to their company being represented by anyone who wasn`t Japanese, how did Ghosn get the job in the first place? Doesn`t it stand to reason, that the Japanese would have made sure such a move didn`t happen? I`m asking this question with only a little bit of knowledge regarding this whole fiasco.

    • Ed Ward

      In the late 90s Nissan was dead broke and in serious debt. Ghosn and co. (Renault) saw the opportunity and bought 40plus% of Nissan literally saving Nissan from destruction. DaimlerChrysler could have purchased Nissan but Chrysler blocked Daimler from purchasing Nissan citing its debt. Nissan clearly didn’t want to end up like Chrysler, stuck supporting a smaller weak company like fiat. Renault is 10% owned by the French government and that certainly doesn’t help the situation.

      • Rick Alexander

        Ahhh… I see. Okay so Renault did Nissan a solid. Hmmm, well it’ll be interesting to see who takes over the helm once they’ve hung Ghosn out to dry. Is nothing sacred anymore? Sheesh

  • Andrew Ngo

    It is so disgusting to work on a person who saved you.

  • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

    Nissan really didn’t want that merger. Anyone that knows about the Takata airbag coverup, the Olympus affair, Toshiba’s irregular accounting and Kobe Steel’s data scandal know that the Japanese are corrupt enough to bring Carlos Ghosn down.

  • MarketAndChurch

    I wish Carlos hadn’t worked so hard to merge these two companies, Renault and Nissan make a perfect pairing.

  • sidewaysspin

    It was a coup.

  • kachuks

    There’s always the possibility that both Ghosn is corrupt and the Japanese are backstabbers.

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