Renault SA on Friday said that it had reached an agreement with its alliance partner Nissan Motor Co and the French government to defuse tensions sparked by France raising its stake in the automaker.
The agreement, dubbed “alliance stability covenant,” caps the government’s ability to interfere in the affairs of the Renault-Nissan alliance in return for Nissan’s stock in Renault remaining without voting rights.
The French government raised its stake in Renault to 19.7 percent this year, disturbing the fragile balance between the two companies and angering Renault-Nissan chief executive officer Carlos Ghosn.
That bolstered Paris’ voting rights, effectively denying the Japanese company a say in how the business is operated.
“There is the strong will to put all this behind us,” Ghosn said on Friday after a board meeting which approved the deal.
Under the alliance agreement struck in 1999, Renault owns about 43 percent of Nissan.
Nissan holds about 15 percent of the French automaker’s shares, but without voting rights.
Nissan reportedly wanted the French government to cut its Renault stake back to its previous level and had threatened to raise its own stake in Renault to reassert its influence if France did not budge.
However, the French government has now agreed to refrain from using its newly-won voting rights, except in “exceptional circumstances,” Renault said, calling the debate leading up to the deal “fruitful.”
Nissan chief competitive officer Hiroto Saikawa said he felt his company and the French government “can trust each other” and had reached “a good resolution.”
However, Nissan would not accept any future unwanted interference from Paris, he said.
Under the terms of the deal, the French government is to refrain from using its extra voting rights, except concerning dividends, government representatives on the board, any sale of more than half of Renault’s assets and “interested party transactions not approved by French government representatives on the Renault board,” he said.
It would also exercise its voting rights in the event of any takeover bid on Renault or any investor trying to buy more than a 15-percent stake in the French automaker, he said.
More specifically, any attempt by Nissan to exercise voting rights in Renault would also trigger the government’s use of its extra voting powers, he said.
France’s Minister of the Economy, Industry and Employment Emmanuel Macron and Minister of Finance Michel Sapin said in a joint statement that they welcomed the consensus reached in the agreement on the government’s voting rights which still preserve its right to intervene on strategic issues for the company.
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price
NOT A PANACEA: Offering 5G services would not solve the problem of declining telecom incomes, chairman Sheih Chi-mau said, expecting a flat 5G telecom revenue Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday became the nation’s first telecom to debut its 5G services, offering tiered tariffs that include a threshold of NT$599 and flat rates, as it aims to switch half of its subscribers to the 5G network within three years. Subscribers would have unlimited data transmission for monthly fees starting at NT$1,399 — the same flat rate as when the company launched its 4G service in 2014 — and they can subscribe to the highest-rate plan for NT$2,699 per month for faster data transmission speeds and larger bandwidth, the company said. Data transmission speeds would be within the range
ROW: A probe would determine if the rights of shareholders who were not allowed to vote yesterday had been violated, while the stock exchange also wants answers The election of board directors yesterday at Tatung Co (大同) sparked controversy after the company blocked some institutional and individual shareholders from participating in the general shareholders’ meeting, prompting the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) to announce that the vote would be investigated. Lin Kuo Wen-yen (林郭文艷) was re-elected as chairwoman of the household-appliance maker’s nine-member board, but prior to the vote she announced that several shareholders would not have voting rights. They were being denied a vote because they had contravened the Business Mergers and Acquisitions Act (企業併購法), and the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and