The French government says it is willing to reduce its stake in Renault in an effort to consolidate the car manufacturer’s partnership with Nissan.
Bloomberg notes that, shortly after a proposed merger between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Renault fell through, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the administration is willing to reduce its 15 per cent stake at the automaker.
“We can reduce the state’s stake in Renault’s capital. This is not a problem as long as, at the end of the process, we have a more solid auto sector and a more solid alliance between the two great car manufacturers Nissan and Renault,” Le Maire said.
Over the weekend, Le Maire clarified his comments to Bloomberg, indicating that France isn’t in a rush to proceed in this move in the near future, and that it will be done only under certain circumstances.
“On the agenda, there is: strengthening the alliance and protecting jobs, industrial and research sites. The second step will be consolidation — only if all parties are on board,” he said.
FCA and Renault had the opportunity to create the world’s third largest automaker if they joined forces. However, FCA unexpectedly withdrew its offer after France asked for more time to seal the deal as it tried to secure the backing of Nissan.
Nissan has long been concerned about France’s stake in Renault. According to an unnamed source, the Japanese would like to see France relinquish all of its assets in Renault, asserting that the state’s interest in Renault has generated tension within the alliance.