Renault asks Nissan to call shareholder meeting: Report

Renault SA has sent a letter to Nissan Motor Co., an alliance partner, urging the company to call a shareholder meeting after the Japanese automaker and its former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, were indicted for alleged financial misconduct, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

In the letter dated Dec. 14, Thierry Bollore, the deputy CEO of the French automaker, asked Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa to call the meeting “as promptly as practicable,” and said the indictment creates “significant risks” to Renault and to the stability of its industrial alliance (which also includes Mitsubishi), the Journal reported. Renault owns a 44 percent stake in Nissan, making it the largest shareholder in the company.

“We believe a shareholder forum would be the best manner of addressing these matters in an open and transparent fashion,” Bollore said in the letter, according to the Journal.

Prosecutors in Japan charged Ghosn, Nissan’s Representative Director Greg Kelly and the automaker itself last week for allegedly violating financial laws by underreporting Ghosn’s income. According to the indictment, Ghosn and Kelly understated Ghosn’s compensation from 2011 to 2015 by about 5 billion yen ($44 million), compared to the actual amount of about 10 billion yen ($88 million).

Known for helping turn Nissan around while it was on the verge of bankruptcy, the once-highly respected Ghosn was re-arrested last week on allegations he conspired with Kelly to underreport his income by about 4 billion yen ($36 million) between June 2016 and June 2018.

Ghosn has been detained since his arrest in Japan on Nov. 19. Last Tuesday he appealed to end his detention, but a Tokyo court rejected the appeal. He was ousted from Nissan’s board on Nov. 22 and is set to remain in detention until Thursday.