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Renault to propose joint holding company with Nissan: sources

In this March 12, 2019 photo, Renault SA Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard, left, next to Nissan Motor Co.'s President and CEO Hiroto Saikawa, speaks at a press conference at Nissan's headquarters in Yokohama. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Renault SA will soon formally propose to its partner Nissan Motor Co. a merger of the two firms under a joint holding company, sources with knowledge of the matter said Friday, amid increasing tensions between them over control of one of the world's leading auto groups.

Nissan is poised to reject the proposal as it is wary that Renault, which already has a 43.4 percent stake in the Japanese automaker, will gain further influence in its management, the sources said. It has already rejected the merger idea when sounded out by Renault in mid-April.

Renault wants to bring the French automaker and Nissan under a new structure that would have an equal number of board members from both sides, according to the sources.

The holding company would be headquartered in a third country but would be listed on stock exchanges in both France and Japan, the sources said.

The French government, Renault's top shareholder, has been pushing for a merger with Nissan, looking to retain influence over the alliance, which became the world's second-largest car group in 2018 in terms of vehicle sales, sources familiar with the situation said earlier.

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