Sat, Jan 19, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Ghosn improperly paid 7.8m euros: Nissan, Mitsubishi

Reuters, TOKYO

Arrested auto executive Carlos Ghosn improperly received 7.8 million euros (US$8.9 million) in compensation from a joint venture between Nissan Motor Co and Mitsubishi Motors Corp, the companies said yesterday.

A joint investigation found that Ghosn, ousted as chairman from both automakers, was compensated by the Netherlands-based joint venture without any discussion with two other board members, Nissan chief executive Hiroto Saikawa and Mitsubishi chief executive Osamu Masuko.

Nissan holds a controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motors.

Ghosn, arrested and detained in Tokyo since Nov. 19, has been indicted in Japan on charges of under-reporting his salary for eight years through March last year and temporarily transferring personal investment losses to Nissan during the global financial crisis.

Ghosn denies the charges against him.

His lawyer, Motonari Otsuru, could not immediately be reached by telephone yesterday.

Reuters reported earlier this week about the alleged improper compensation to Ghosn by the joint venture and that Nissan was considering filing for damages, citing a source.

Nissan yesterday said that it would consider ways to recover the full amount from Ghosn, while Mitsubishi said it would consider ways to hold him responsible.

The latest allegations are likely to add pressure on the Japanese automakers’ partner Renault SA to cut ties with Ghosn.

Unlike Mitsubishi and Nissan, Renault has kept Ghosn as chief executive and chairman, but its biggest shareholder, the French government, has been urging it to replace him.

The French automaker holds about 43 percent of Nissan, the biggest partner in the alliance by sales and which in turn holds a non-voting 15 percent stake in Renault.

Mitsubishi became the smallest member of the three-way alliance when Nissan in 2016 took a 34 percent stake in the company.

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