Renault Returns the Nissan Abstinence Vote Favor

AutoInformed.com on Renault FCA Merger

This is starting to sound like a variation on a Judy Garland lyric from the Company that Got Away (FCA). “The night is bitter… The road gets rougher…

Paybacks are hell. Nissan has received a letter from Renault indicating its intention to abstain from voting on measures to strengthen Nissan’s weak corporate governance practices. In a statement Nissan acknowledged the slight saying the reason given, according to media reports, is that Renault’s views concerning selection of committee members have not been adequately reflected.

This after the French government asked for more time to study the FCA Renault merger when it learned that Nissan intended to abstain from a vote that would allow it to go forward. (AutoInformed on Renault’s Board of Directors Continue FCA Merger Study, Renault’s Board of Directors Continue FCA Merger Study)

Renault’s voting stake at Nissan’s ordinary general meeting of shareholders on June 25 is needed and wanted to pass proposed amendments to the company’s Articles of Incorporation. These amendments would be necessary for Nissan to transition to a company with three statutory committees – nomination, compensation and audit. Renault did not immediately respond to AutoInformed’s request for elucidation.

The latest twist in the strained Renault Nissan Mitsubishi “alliance” came after the discovery of “serious executive misconduct” led by the company’s former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, who was at the time also Chairman and CEO of Renault. (AutoInformed on Renault Board Confirms Expenses Improperly Used by Ghosn)

Nissan established the Special Committee for Improving Governance, which was led by and composed of third-party advisers, to discuss and recommend governance improvements to lay the groundwork for a “robust system of governance in support of Nissan’s operations.”

Nissan’s board voted unanimously to strengthen corporate governance by transitioning from a company with statutory auditors to a company with three statutory committees.

This transition was discussed thoroughly by Nissan’s board and approved by all board members, including Renault’s own nominees. Nissan finds Renault’s new stance on this matter most regrettable, as such a stance runs counter to the company’s efforts to improve its corporate governance.,” Nissan said.

“In the interests of all shareholders, Nissan will continue to make the utmost efforts  the necessity of these governance-strengthening changes,” Nissan concluded.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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