Home News Fiat Abruptly Withdraws $39BN Offer To Merge With Renault, Blames French State

Fiat Abruptly Withdraws $39BN Offer To Merge With Renault, Blames French State


Together with the worldwide automobile industry sinking slowly into the worst regeneration since the global financial crisis, a single ray of hope surfaced a week ago when, out of the blue, Fiat Chrysler suggested a merger with French auto giant Renault, providing at least some assistance for those stocks of beleaguered automobile makers. And then, as fast as the deal came it was eliminated , because late on Wednesday, Fiat withdrew its own €33 billion merger proposition following the French country intervened, wanting to delay the bargain in order to check the corporation’s Japanese partner, Nissan.

Just how exactly the deal collapsed remains to be explained, with Bloomberg reporting which Renault’s board of supervisors had been ready to accept the preliminary agreement to combine both car giants, while the Financial Times reports that Renault’s board had formerly postponed on whether to engage with the proposition, saying that the French authorities, its biggest shareholder, has requested the vote be pushed back. The first attempt to pass the program ended Tuesday night when Renault’s plank adjourned without deciding on the Fiat proposal. It needed to study the draft .

The FT reports that, according to its sources, the French country had asked for the decision to be postponed for the second time”by roughly one week in order to allow the government to speak directly to Nissan about the merger.”

In the end, FCA chose to pull away after it appeared that the French authorities and marriages were not convinced regarding the Italian-American business ’s reassurances over job security at Renault.

And so, after over half an hour of discussion on Wednesday evening at Renault’s headquarters at Paris, the board  said it”was unable to take a decision due to the request expressed by the representatives of the French state to postpone the vote to a later council.”

According to the FT, people briefed on the decision said that the French state and a union representative were the sole board members that hadn’t voted for the agreement, aside from the Nissan agents on the board that abstained.

Meanwhile, as Bloomberg adds, Renault’s plank was poised to approve the agreement with Nissan representatives abstaining from the vote. But France’s agents asked for more time following officials made clear that they needed to go over the bargain farther with Japanese officials prior to making a decision.

And so, together with the French authorities dithering, Fiat abruptly withdrew its offer, upending a bargain which would have created the planet ’s third-largest automaker.

While Renault stated it would continue to critique the proposition”with interest”, the Italian automobile giant would get none of this, also in its own statement, Fiat Chrysler took direct aim at the French authorities, proprietor of a 15% stake in the French carmaker, for murdering the offer.

“It has become clear that the political issues in France don’t exist for such a combination to proceed successfully,” Fiat said, adding that it remains convinced that the plan was compelling and carefully balanced.

According to Bloomberg, Fiat had spent weeks navigating talks with Renault, its longstanding partner Nissan and the French state, which had ratcheted up demands over jobs, governance and factories. It had also pushed for a board seat and a payout to shareholders since the deal was announced on May 27.

The decision to walk away marks a major retreat for Fiat Chairman and scion of the founding Agnelli family John Elkann. After discussions with Renault’s cross-town rival Groupe PSA, he had opted for the riskier path, proceeding with an offer for Renault despite the complications of the significant government shareholding and the company’s strained relationship with Nissan.

The collapse of the deal also leaves Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard in a difficult position, having”neglected to use his diplomatic skills to deliver all of the parties into agreement” In addition to the demands from the French state, it emerged that French labor unions were worried about jobs Nissan felt betrayed by a partner with which it was already trying to smooth rocky relations. Now the unions can be comfortable, knowing they have nothing to fear but the French state itself.

Unable to grasp that the deal is now dead, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire is still planning a trip to Japan next week. More time was needed to reassure the Japanese side and explain the deal, a French government official told Bloomberg.

In the end, the French government was”amazed that Fiat moved so quickly to withdraw its offer.”

Fiat Chrysler shares fell 4.9percent to 12.55 in after-hours trading in New York, whereas Nissan dropped up to 3.8% premature Thursday. A successful deal would have created a firm with a combined market value of $39 billion, which makes it the third biggest on earth (just over Tesla).

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