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Nissan, Renault form $5.4 billion alliance

29 March 1999

Louis Schweitzer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Renault, and Yoshikazu Hanawa, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nissan Motor Co., jointly announced a partnership agreement between Renault and Nissan. The agreement, signed on 27 March 1999, will create the fourth largest automaker in the world.

Renault will make a major contribution to reduce Nissan’s indebtedness, estimated at more than 2 trillion yen (US$16.7 billion). Renault is going to invest 605 billion yen (approximately 4.7 billion euros / FRF 31 billion / US$ 5.1 billion), by taking a 36.8% equity stake (and corresponding voting rights) in Nissan Motor Co., by means of a reserved capital increase at Y 400 per share, and a 22.5% stake in Nissan Diesel. Nissan Motor will keep an identical equity participation to that of Renault in Nissan Diesel.

Nissan has the option of taking a stake in Renault’s share capital at a later date.

A mutual agreement should allow Renault to purchase Nissan’s European financial subsidiaries, for a total of approximately 294 million euros (FRF 1.9 billion / Y38 billion / US$320 million).

In order to strengthen Nissan’s management and ensure the return to profit for the year ending 31 March 2001, Carlos Ghosn, currently Executive Vice President of Renault, will be appointed Chief Operating Officer of Nissan. All the Executive Vice Presidents of the company will report to him. In addition, two executives from Renault are appointed to the Board of Directors of Nissan: Patrick Plata, currently Senior Vice President, Vehicle Development of Renault, is appointed Executive Vice President, Product Planning and Strategy of Nissan. Thierry Moulonguet, currently Vice President, Capital Expenditure Controller of Renault, is appointed Managing Director, Deputy Chief Financial Officer of Nissan.

It also has been decided to propose the appointment of Yoshikazu Hanawa, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nissan Motor Co., to the Renault Board of Directors.

Nissan Motor Co, founded in 1933, is the number-two automaker in Japan. In the fiscal year ended March 1998, Nissan recorded operating revenues of 6,564.6 billion yen (50.9 billion euros / FRF 334 billion / US$ 55.5 billion). In fiscal year ended March 1998, Nissan produced 2,754,598 vehicles, consisting of 2,264,388 passenger cars and 490,210 light commercial vehicles, and held a 20.4% market share in Japan.

Nissan has business operations in a range of fields, including aerospace, industrial machinery, marine products and its core automotive operations. The company manufactures and assembles vehicles at 22 overseas companies in 18 countries. Nissan has R&D centres in Japan, the USA and Europe.

Renault, established in 1898, had revenues of 37.2 billion euros (FRF 243.9 billion / Y 4,794 billion / US$ 40.6 billion) in 1998. In 1998, Renault produced 2,283,265 vehicles, including 1,942,733 passenger cars, 254,662 light commercial vehicles and 85,870 trucks and buses.

Renault was nationalized in 1945 and privatized in 1996. Its share capital is owned 55.8% by private shareholders and 44.2% by the French State. In the commercial vehicles sector, the Renault V.I. group includes Mack Trucks, which covers 13% of the US market. Renault V.I. is the third largest group in the world for vehicles over 16 tons.

Source: Renault