Louis Schweitzer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Renault, and Yoshikazu Hanawa, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nissan Motor Co., signed a global partnership agreement in Tokyo on March 27, 1999, to strengthen Nissan's financial position and achieve profitable growth for both partners.
Renault is investing 643 billion yen (approximately 5 billion euros / FRF 33 billion / US$ 5.4 billion) in Nissan, by taking a 36.8% equity stake in Nissan Motor, a 22.5 % equity stake in Nissan Diesel and by intending to own Nissan's European financial subsidiaries. Nissan has the option of taking a stake in Renault's share capital at a later date. Carlos Ghosn, currently Executive Vice President of Renault, will be appointed Chief Operating Officer of Nissan. In addition, two other top Renault executives will join Nissan's senior management.
It has been decided to propose the appointment of Yoshikazu Hanawa, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nissan, to the Renault Board of Directors.
A transnational organization will define the global strategy for a profitable growth of the new entity and promote all synergies between the two companies, while respecting the brand identities of both partners.
This newly-formed combination which ranks fourth in the world automotive industry, with an output of 4.8 million vehicles, has the capacity to develop strong synergies worth US$ 3.3 billion (FRF 20 billion / Y 390 billion / 3 billion euros), for the 2000-2002 period alone, and thus greatly improve its competitiveness.
Tokyo. March 27, 1999 – Louis Schweitzer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Renault, and Yoshikazu Hanawa, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nissan Motor Co., jointly announced today a global partnership agreement that would create the fourth largest automaker in the world, while achieving profitable growth for both partners.
In order to support Nissan's turnaround, Renault has decided to make a major contribution to reducing Nissan's indebtedness. Renault is, therefore, going to invest 605 billion yen (approximately 4.7 billion euros / FRF 31 billion / US$ 5.1 billion), by taking a 36.8% equity stake (and corresponding voting rights) in Nissan Motor Co., by means of a reserved capital increase at Y 400 per share, and a 22.5 % stake in Nissan Diesel. Nissan Motor will keep an identical equity participation to that of Renault in Nissan Diesel. Renault's investment also covers a possible participation in Automakers, Nissan's South African subsidiary, which will be proposed to the Board of this company. Furthermore, Renault benefits from bonds with detachable warrants for a period of 5 years. These warrants, included in the overall price, enable Renault to maintain the level of its equity participation or increase it within mutually agreed limits.
Nissan has the option of taking a stake in Renault's share capital at a later date.
Further, a mutual agreement should allow Renault to purchase Nissan's European financial subsidiaries, for a total of approximately 294 million euros (FRF 1.9 billion / Y 38 billion / US$ 320 million) .
In order to strengthen Nissan's management and ensure the return to profit for the year ending March 31, 2001, Carlos Ghosn, currently Executive Vice President of Renault, will be appointed Chief Operating Officer of Nissan. All the Executive Vice Presidents of the company will report to him. In addition, two executives from Renault are appointed to the Board of Directors of Nissan: Patrick Pelata, currently Senior Vice President, Vehicle Development of Renault, is appointed Executive Vice President, Product Planning and Strategy of Nissan. Thierry Moulonguet, currently Vice President, Capital Expenditure Controller of Renault, is appointed Managing Director, Deputy Chief Financial Officer of Nissan.
It also has been decided to propose the appointment of Yoshikazu Hanawa, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nissan Motor Co., to the Renault Board of Directors.
The links between Renault and Nissan will allow each partner to derive maximum benefits from each partner's strengths. These strengths have been carefully determined after eight months of joint assessments and will improve the competitiveness of this new partnership.
Renault and Nissan will implement synergies covering the whole scope of their activities, particularly in the areas of purchasing, product strategy and research. They plan to develop a common line of platforms and powertrains. These synergies will also apply to the strong complementarity of their geographical locations. All expected synergies will represent a global cost saving of US$ 3.3 billion ( FRF 20 billion / Y 390 billion / 3 billion euros) for the 2000-2002 period alone.
A transnational organization has been created to define joint strategy and promote synergies within the new entity. A Global Alliance Committee, consisting of the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Renault and the President and Chief Executive Officer of Nissan Motor Co., together with five top Renault executives and five top Nissan Motor Co. executives, will be in charge of strategic direction of the partnership.
Eleven Cross Company Teams will be assigned the task of promoting all possible synergies to be implemented by each of the partners. Four of these teams will focus on the following areas: "Product planning and related strategy", "Powertrains", "Vehicle Engineering", "Purchasing and logistics". Seven other teams will be assigned to marketing and sales in different geographical areas: Japan, Asia-Pacific, North and Central America, South America, Europe, CIS -Turkey / Romania / North Africa, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. With the exception of the "Product planning and related strategy" group which will be under joint leadership, each of the other groups will be led by a manager from one company, whose appointment will be based solely on competence and recognized expertise. The deputy leader will automatically be an employee of the other partner.
Nissan and Renault will cooperate and comply with the national and international procedures necessary for the implementation of the agreement signed on March 27. The closing date for a capital transfer of funds is scheduled for the end of May 1999.
Nissan Motor Co, founded in 1933, is the number-two automaker in Japan. In the fiscal year ended March 1998, Nissan recorded operating revenues of 6,564.6 billion yen (50.9 billion euros / FRF 334 billion / US$ 55.5 billion). These operating revenues consisted of 2,757 billion yen in Japan (21.4 billion euros / FRF 140 billion / US$ 23.3 billion ) and 3,807.6 billion yen (29.5 billion euros/ FRF 194 billion / US$ 32.2 billion ) in overseas operations. In fiscal year ended March 1998, Nissan produced 2,754,598 vehicles, consisting of 2,264,388 passenger cars and 490,210 light commercial vehicles, and held a 20.4% market share in Japan.
In the fiscal year ended March 1998, Nissan recorded an operating income of 84.3 billion yen (0.6 billion euros / FRF 4.3 billion / US$ 0.7 billion). Its shareholders' equity amounts to 1,282.5 billion yen (9.9 billion euros / FRF 65 billion / US$ 10.9 billion). Nissan's share capital is owned 58.7% by banking facilities, 31.3% by other corporate shareholders, and 10.1% by private shareholders. Nissan is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (7201.T) and its market value was 954.9 billion yen (7.4 billion euros / FRF 48.5 billion / US$ 8.07 billion) as of September 30, 1998.
Nissan is a global company that has business operations in a wide range of fields, including aerospace, industrial machinery, marine products and its core automotive operations. The company manufactures and assembles vehicles at 22 overseas companies in 18 countries. Nissan is known for its engineering and technology capabilities and has R&D centres in Japan, the USA and Europe. The company has a strong presence in Japan, USA, Europe and Asia, and has more than 10,000 outlets in 187 countries.
Yoshikazu Hanawa (65 years old) has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Nissan since 1996.
Renault, established in 1898, recorded revenues of 37.2 billion euros (FRF 243.9 billion / Y 4,794 billion / US$ 40.6 billion) in 1998, 96.6% of which were generated by its operating divisions, with the Automobile Division accounting for 80% of revenues and the Commercial Vehicles subsidiary 16.6%. In 1998, Renault produced 2,283,265 vehicles (up 17.7%), consisting of 1,942,733 passenger cars, 254,662 light commercial vehicles and 85,870 trucks and buses.
Renault has reported profits every year since 1987 (with the sole exception of 1996). The Group recorded an operating margin in 1998 of 1.9 billion euros (FRF 12.5 billion / Y 247 billion / US$ 2.1 billion), and a net income of 1.35 billion euros (FRF 8.8 billion / Y 173 billion / US$ 1.5 billion). Calculated as a ratio of revenues, this figure is the highest in the European automobile industry. The Group has completely eliminated its debt burden and now shows a net creditor situation of 1.9 billion euros (FRF 12.6 billion / Y 248 billion / US$ 2.1 billion). Its shareholders' equity amounts to 7.9 billion euros (FRF 51.5 billion / Y 1,013 billion / US$ 8.6 billion).
Nationalized in 1945, Renault was privatized in 1996. Its share capital is owned 55.8 % by private shareholders ( including a stake of 3.2% by Renault employees) and 44.2% by the French State. Renault is listed on the Paris Bourse and its market value was Euro 7.8 billion (FRF 51 billion / Y 1,000 billion / US$ 8.5 billion) on March 19, 1999.
Renault was the leading marque in Western Europe in 1998, in the area of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, with sales up 17.3%, rising at a much faster rate than the total market (up 7.5%), and a volume of 1,757,565 vehicles registered. Renault is market leader in Turkey and Argentina, and holds significant positions in Central and Eastern Europe as well as in the Maghreb. Renault is currently pursuing a strategy of international development which has led to it setting up a major operation in Brazil. It also has a project underway in Russia. In the commercial vehicles sector, the Renault V.I. group includes Mack Trucks, which covers 13% of the U.S. market. Renault V.I. is the third largest group in the world for vehicles over 16 tons.
Louis Schweitzer (56 years old) has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Renault since 1992.
Nissan Motor Co. LTD (Japan) Corporate Communications Department: Telephone: 81-3-5565-2147
Nissan North America (USA) Corporate Communications Department: Telephone: 1- 310- 771-5155/5958
Nissan Europe N.V. (Netherland) Public Relations : Telephone: 31- 20- 516- 2235
Renault Press Office in Paris:
Renault, 34 quai du Point du Jour, 92109 Boulogne, France
Telephone (office hours): (33) 1 41 04 6469 (corporate information) / (33) 1 41 04 6336 (product and R&D information) / Fax: (33) 1 41 04 5289 / Telephone (outside office hours: press officer on duty 24 hours a day / 7 days a week): (33) 1 41 04 6789 / e.mail: http://www.renault.com