French carmaker Renault SA is open to reducing its stake in Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co Ltd, Bloomberg News reported on Saturday, citing people familiar with the discussions.
According to the report, Nissan is pressing Renault to reduce its stake to 15%. The French automaker owns about 43% of Nissan.
The reduction would result in Renault drawing level with Nissan’s share in the French company, which is about 15% with no voting rights.
In June, Nissan revealed details of its alliance pact with top shareholder Renault that keep the latter from unilaterally increasing its stake beyond 44.4%.
The talks between the two companies cover the question of whether Nissan will join Renault’s new unit being set up to house its electric vehicle (EV) assets in exchange for its French ally winding down the Nissan stake according to a Wall Street Journal report from Friday.
Renault plans to split its electric vehicle (EV) and combustion engine businesses as it seeks to catch up with rivals such as Tesla and Volkswagen in the race to cleaner driving.
Executives from both companies have discussed Renault’s plan in reshaping their alliance during meetings in France and Japan.
The negotiations between the companies are intensifying, the Bloomberg report said, adding that Renault Chief Executive Officer Luca de Meo is due to attend the Formula 1 race in Suzuka on Sunday, giving him an opportunity to speak with Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida.
The report, however, said that weekend talks are unlikely to yield concrete results.
Renault did not immediately reply to Reuters’ request for comment. A Nissan spokesperson did not immediately respond to request for comment outside normal working hours. (Reporting by Akanksha Khushi in Bengaluru)