Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Nissan asking shareholders to vote to oust Ghosn as director:The Asahi Shimbun

Nissan asking shareholders to vote to oust Ghosn as director:The Asahi Shimbun

French automaker Renault stated on Monday that it was in talks with its partners Nissan and Mitsubishi in relation to a new alliance body for the three companies.

The announcement at a press conference in Yokohama, where Nissan is based, was created to ease the tensions that have flared within the alliance since the arrest of Carlos Ghosn.

He was granted bail last week at the third time of asking, with bail set at 1 billion yen (9 million US dollars) and released under the provisos that he will not leave Japan and remain under limited video surveillance at the entrance to his residence.

Senard appeared with Saikawa at Tuesday's board meeting at Nissan's Yokohama headquarters to drive home the message that the French-Japanese auto alliance remains strong.

According to TV Tokyo report, if the plan gets approved at Nissan's board meeting scheduled to be held on Tuesday (March 12th), top executives of the three carmaker tycoons would unleash their plans for joint meeting.

Released on $9 million bail last week after spending more than 100 days in a Tokyo detention centre, Ghosn faces charges of under-reporting his salary at Nissan by about $82 million over almost a decade.

The companies, together with junior ally Mitsubishi Motors, on Tuesday said the chairman of Renault would serve as the head of the alliance but - in a critical sign of the rebalancing - not as chairman of Nissan.

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Senard also said Ghosn should be considered innocent until proven guilty.

Ghosn denied board meeting appearance by judge.

Sepehri's move, first reported by Bloomberg, ends her oversight of corporate governance, communications, legal and public affairs at Renault, as well as her influential role as secretary to the board. Shareholders' approval is needed to remove him from the board.

Senard cemented this idea saying he had no desire to be Nissan's chairman, but would instead be an "natural candidate" for vice chair.

In the wake of the scandal, Renault has started its own review of payments to Ghosn. It established in its own investigation that a 2016 Renault sponsorship deal with the Chateau de Versailles outside Paris included a 50,000 euro ($56,000) personal benefit to Ghosn, and said it would alert prosecutors.

His dramatic arrest and lengthy detention exposed tensions between Nissan and its leading shareholder, Renault, complicating the outlook for a partnership that is the world's largest maker of automobiles, excluding heavy trucks.

Some at Nissan had been unhappy with Ghosn's push for a deeper tie-up, including possibly a full merger.

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