Nissan to invest up to $663 mln in new Renault EV unit
- Investment ends months of talks over structure of alliance
- Renault to lower Nissan stake to 15%
- Ampere valued at up to 10 bln euros – sources
TOKYO, July 26 (Reuters) – Nissan (7201.T) has agreed to invest up to $663 million in Renault’s (RENA.PA) new electric vehicle unit, the automakers said on Wednesday, as they finalised terms of their revamped alliance after months of talks clouded by tension.
Sealing the deal is likely to be seen as a positive, coming after months of difficult talks that sources have said were stuck, in part, by Nissan’s concern about protecting its intellectual property in future collaborations.
The agreement also frees Nissan up to focus on what is arguably a more pressing problem: the increasingly grim outlook for foreign automakers in China, the world’s biggest car market.
In a statement, Nissan Chief Executive Makoto Uchida said the investment “complements and strengthens Nissan’s ongoing electric push in Europe”.
Nissan committed to invest up to 600 million euros ($663 million) in its partner’s electric vehicle unit, Ampere. Renault, meanwhile, will lower its stake in Nissan to 15% from around 43%, putting their relationship on equal footing.
The investment in Ampere is consistent with Nissan being a strategic investor and securing a board seat on the new company, Nissan said.
Questioned on how many members the board will have, a Renault spokesperson replied it had not yet been fully decided.
Sources have said Ampere could be valued at up to 10 billion euros. Nissan had flagged in February that it would invest a maximum 15% in Ampere, but the exact size of its stake remained unclear.
U.S. chip giant Qualcomm has already said it will invest in Ampere, and Nissan and Renault’s junior partner, Mitsubishi Motors, has said it wants to decide about any potential investment before the unit’s initial public offering, which could happen during the first half of 2024.
The companies said the overhaul was subject to regulatory approvals and completion was expected in the fourth quarter of 2023.
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Additional reporting by Gilles Guillame in PARIS; reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing by David Dolan and Miral Fahmy
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