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卡洛斯·戈恩仍在狱中,法国低调处理雷诺-日产合并

彭博社 2019年01月23日

法国财政部长表示,目前没有计划改变雷诺与日产二十年的联盟。

法国财政部长表示,目前没有计划改变雷诺与日产二十年的联盟,而联盟的缔造者卡洛斯·戈恩因涉嫌金融犯罪于两个月前在日本被捕,现仍在拘留中。

“没有计划对雷诺和日产的交叉持股方案进行调整或修改,”布鲁诺·勒梅尔在上周六晚间播出的《星期日报》(Journal du Dimanche)采访时说。他说,法国希望雷诺领导层的管理“牢固稳定”。

双方由于合作关系架构不平衡,都积攒了不满情绪。虽然日产的销量和利润已经超过雷诺,但这家日本公司在联盟中的影响力要小得多,它只拥有雷诺15%的无表决权股份,而后者拥有日产43%的股权。雷诺股权中15%为法国政府持有。

包括法国政府指定的雷诺董事马丁·维尔在内的法国代表团上周前往东京拜访了日本官员,日产的首席执行官西川广人也在列。据日本经济新闻社(Nikkei newspaper)报道,代表团转达了法国或有意将两家企业置于同一控股公司下的想法,还提出雷诺希望任命下一任日产董事长,但日经新闻未透露消息源。

据接近代表团的人士透露,此访重点讨论了巩固雷诺-日产联盟的方式和想法,成立控股公司是其中一个选择。知情人士强调,会议期间没有提出任何提案,现在讨论具体计划还为时过早,因为有关讨论属于机密范畴,要求隐去其姓名。

另一位知情人士表示,虽然日产希望维持现有伙伴关系,但它可能会反对任何试图推动两家车企完全合并的做法。

一名雷诺发言人拒绝发表评论。本刊向日产发言人发送的邮件截至上周日未收到答复。

戈恩被捕前一直在推动两家企业进行更充分的整合,包括去年彭博社曾报道可能会进行合并,但日产反对合并,除非它能因此在更多领域获得影响力。

戈恩被控涉嫌金融犯罪,或导致几十年监禁。这位汽车行业的大佬被指控瞒报自己在日产数千万美元的收入,将个人交易损失转嫁给公司。日产还声称戈恩滥用公司资金,用于其在巴西、黎巴嫩等各地的房产,称戈恩雇佣自己姐姐与其签署顾问合同。

日产正在加强改革,重建管理体系,同时在考虑取消董事长一职。戈恩的丑闻也使日产与雷诺的合作关系变得紧张,二者的联盟20年来都由戈恩维系。

上个月,雷诺表示计划向日产董事会提名一名新董事,维护公司在联盟内的权力。

“雷诺希望行使权力任命自己的董事,这需要在股东大会上完成。”同时是法国政府雷诺股权机构负责人的维尔在接受法国商业调频电台(BFM Business)采访时表示。

此前日产首席执行官西川广人拒绝了雷诺要求召开全体股东大会讨论日产管理层的要求;若要改变董事会构成,必须召开全体股东大会。

日产改善治理特别委员会于上周日召开首次会议,宣布将在3月底前制定若干提案。 委员会主席西冈清一郎也表示,权力过多集中于同一人可能会给日产带来问题。

同时,戈恩或即将被革除雷诺董事长及首席执行官的职位,法国财政部长上周呼吁罢黜戈恩。(财富中文网)

译者:Agatha

France’s finance minister said there is no plan to remodel the two-decade alliance between Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co., whose architect Carlos Ghosn remains in jail two months after he was arrested in Japan on allegations of financial crimes.

“No shareholding re-balancing or modification of cross shareholdings between Renault and Nissan are on the table,” Bruno Le Maire told Journal du Dimanche in an interview published late Saturday. France wants “solid and stable” governance at the helm of Renault, he said.

Tensions are simmering on both sides of the partnership because of its lopsided structure. While Nissan has outgrown Renault in sales and profits, the Japanese company has far less influence, owning a 15 percent non-voting stake in Renault, which in turn has a 43 percent holding of Nissan. The French government owns 15 percent of Renault.

A French delegation including Martin Vial, a Renault director designated by the French government, visited Japanese officials including Nissan Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa in Tokyo last week. The participants relayed France’s intention to possibly put the two carmakers under one holding structure, as well as Renault’s wish to appoint Nissan’s next chairman, Nikkei newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information.

According to people close to the delegation, the discussions focused on ways and ideas to cement the Renault-Nissan alliance, with the creation of a holding company being one of the options. The people emphasized that no proposal was made during the meeting and it’s too early to discuss concrete plans, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential.

While Nissan wants to maintain the partnership, it will likely resist any push toward a full merger of the two carmakers, another person familiar with the matter said.

A Renault spokesman declined to comment. An email sent to a Nissan spokesman went unanswered last Sunday.

Ghosn had been pushing for a closer integration between the two carmakers before his arrest, including a possible merger that Bloomberg reported last year, but Nissan has resisted a combination unless it would gain clout in more areas.

Ghosn is accused of financial crimes that could put him behind bars for decades. The auto titan has been indicted for understating his income at Nissan by tens of millions of dollars and transferring personal trading losses to the carmaker. Nissan also claims that Ghosn misused company funds, including for homes from Brazil to Lebanon, and hired his sister on an advisory contract.

Nissan is weighing abolishing the chairman role as it steps up reforms to rebuild governance. The scandal has also strained the company’s partnership with Renault, a union held together by Ghosn for two decades.

Last month, Renault said it planned to name a new director to the board of Nissan and safeguard power within their alliance.

“Renault wants to exercise the possibility to name its directors and this will be done at a shareholders’ meeting,” Vial, who is also head of the agency that holds the French government’s stake, said in an interview on BFM Business.

Earlier, Nissan CEO Saikawa rebuffed the French carmaker’s demand for a meeting of all shareholders to discuss Nissan’s governance, something it would need to do to change its board representation.

Nissan’s special committee for improving governance met for the first time at last Sunday, and said it will make some proposals by the end of March. Committee Chairman Seiichiro Nishioka also said that having too much power concentrated on one person may have resulted in a problem for the carmaker.

Ghosn is also on the verge of being ejected from the roles of chairman and CEO at Renault, with the French finance minister last week calling for his dismissal.

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