Renault Nissan likely to merge into single company

Nissan and Renault company logos outside a Renault SA automobile dealership in Albi France on Jan. 15 2016

Nissan and Renault company logos outside a Renault SA automobile dealership in Albi France on Jan. 15 2016. Balint Porneczi—Bloomberg Getty Images

A deal would end the current alliance between the companies and marry them as one corporation, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the details aren't public. Renault now owns 43% of Nissan while the Japanese carmaker has a 15% stake in its French counterpart. Carlos Ghosn, pictured, who is now chairman of the two manufacturers, would head the new outfit, it was claimed.

The two companies, which have operated an alliance since 1999, would form a new, single, listed company under the plans being discussed, according to the Bloomberg financial news service which cited information from several sources. Nissan shares are down almost 2% over the past year, giving the company a valuation of 4.6 trillion yen ($43 billion). The French government's 15 percent holding in Renault could prove a stumbling block, the report said, and that no final decision has been made. Nissan took a 34 percent stake in Mitsubishi Motors in 2016, a tie-up which allowed the alliance to claim the title of the world's largest carmaker past year with 10.6 million vehicles sold. Both the automotive giants are eager to enter into a contract in which the stakeholders of Renault will be provided with the share of the newly merged firm.

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A possibility would be basing the new business in the Netherlands or London, where cross Atlantic automaker Fiat Chrysler has the company's corporate charter, but has its headquarters in both the US and Italy.

Ghosn reiterated last month that Japan wouldn't agree to a tighter structure if France remains a shareholder. "Frankly, I don't even open this subject".

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