Nissan investment in Renault’s EV division to remain small
Nissan will invest around 100 billion yen (646 million euros) in Renault’s new electric car division Ampere, according to a Japanese media report, and is thus expected to hold a stake of less than ten per cent. This is significantly less than previously assumed.
In February, the manufacturers’ alliance had officially announced that Nissan would take a stake of “up to 15 per cent” in Ampere. According to a report in the Japanese daily “Yomiuri Shimbun”, Nissan and Renault agreed on 13 July on the terms of a contract to restructure their partnership, including Nissan’s investment amount in Ampere. Nissan and Renault estimate the new e-car division, which is expected to go public in France in the second half of this year, to be worth between eight and ten billion euros.
“Nissan’s investment ratio is expected to fall below 10 per cent,” the report says. Depending on whether Ampere is valued closer to eight or ten billion euros, Nissan’s share would be closer to between 6.5 and 8.0 per cent for the 646 million euros mentioned.
However, a Nissan spokesperson told Reuters that negotiations on the deal with Renault, including the investment amount in Ampere, had not yet been finalised. Mitsubishi is also considering a stake in Ampere. However, nothing more is known about this as yet.
The 15 per cent stake is considered an important house number in the manufacturer alliance: Nissan has held 15 per cent of Renault for many years, but the French held 43 per cent of the Japanese and had more power with the alliance partner than Nissan had with Renault. As a result, it was also agreed in February that Renault would reduce its direct stake in Nissan to 15 per cent. The 28.4 per cent of Nissan shares that Renault wants to cede are to be transferred to a French trust. Renault would then only have 15 per cent of the voting rights. In the course of this, however, it was also agreed that Nissan would not take over more than 15 per cent of Ampere.
The report by the Yomiuri Shimbun does not directly explain why Nissan’s stake in Ampere could now be so much smaller. However, there were already reports in April that Nissan was increasing its efforts in the development of software and electric cars without Renault. According to the Yomiuri Shimbun report, there are apparently fears at Nissan of losing intellectual property. “According to a person familiar with the matter, Nissan will send a director to the new company and provide the latest intellectual property such as driver assistance technology. In regard to preventing technology leaks, which Nissan feared, certain restrictions on the handling of intellectual property are being introduced,” the report says. The relationship between the partners remains tentative.