French automaker Renault is considering selling at least some of its stake in Japanese automaker Nissan to fund its transition to a fully-electric lineup in the coming years. Nissan shares dropped over 6 percent around the news.
Renault said it is considering at least a partial sale of its stake in Nissan as it plans to separate its EV and combustion engine businesses, much like Ford did earlier this year. The split, according to Renault, would help the automaker focus on advancing its EV business forward to catch up to industry leaders like Tesla, Volkswagen, and others. Bloomberg initially reported the story on Friday.
After releasing its Q1 2022 financial and production results on Friday, Renault said any options available to the automaker for separating its EV and combustion engine businesses from one another. This included a potential public listing in 2023 during the latter half of the year. Plans would have to be approved by alliance partner Nissan, CFO Thierry Pieton said. Nissan was “in the loop” with Renault while the automaker weighed its options.
At the time of writing, Nissan shares were down 6.36 percent since Friday morning when Renault announced its potential plans to explore a stake sale of Nissan.
In January, Nissan and Renault announced a $26 billion investment plan that would require the two companies to work closely together to make electric cars. However, the partnership has been anything but smooth sailing, especially in Japan. Renault owns 43.4 percent of Nissan, which also has a 15 percent non-voting stake in its shareholder. Renault saved Nissan from bankruptcy with a bailout in 1999 but produces fewer vehicles annually than the Japanese company.
Renault said it delivered 552,000 vehicles in Q1 globally, with the largest market share landing in its home country of France. Russia, Italy, Germany, and Turkey followed.
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