Nissan to invest £515m in Renault’s EV unit as Alliance deal sealed


Nissan will invest €600 million (£515m) into Renault’s Ampere EV company, as the two major car makers finalise a new, more equitable Alliance partnership.

This investment into the electric vehicle and software firm “complements and strengthens Nissan’s ongoing electric push in Europe”, said Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida, and will deliver “numerous synergies, including cost efficiencies, regulatory compliance and a broader range of EV products and powertrains”.

The deal, which is part of the final considerations in a protracted re-establishing of the two firms’ relationship, gives Nissan a seat on the board of Ampere.

Signed today, the new Alliance agreement will now go through final checks by law makers before it is formally completed in the fourth quarter of 2023.

It comes after Nissan asked for a rebalancing of the pair’s shares in each company: Renault’s stake stood at 43% while Nissan owned only 15% of Renault. 

That smouldering imbalance – which had grown since the pair’s initial Alliance agreement in 1999 – has now been defused by Renault agreeing to reduce its stake in Nissan to the same 15%, with the remainder placed in a trust.

Renault still benefits from the dividend of Nissan’s profits that the extra 28% generates, but now both companies have equal say in the future of the other, based on voting rights.

Now that the agreement has been ratified by the boards of both companies, Renault and Nissan can resume collaboration on automotive development in an atmosphere of shared trust. 

The latest news has been welcomed by key members from each company, with Jean-Dominique Senard, chairman of the Alliance, calling the agreement a “step into the next chapter of the Alliance” that “lays the foundations for a new balanced, fair and effective governance”.

Uchida said the agreement “will create additional value through initiatives”, with Renault Group CEO Luca de Meo adding that it gives the firm “the strategic agility that we need more than ever in today’s rapidly evolving environment”.

Back in February, when the original statement of intent announcement was made, analysts conveyed their relief to investor clients. “A resized capital structure should help keep the Alliance viable, maintaining synergies and opening up strategic opportunities on both sides,” said Philippe Houchois, automotive equity analyst at Jefferies, in a note.

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