Renault and Nissan Motor have held talks that would see Renault reduce its stake in the Japanese automaker and help the French company restart merger discussions with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The sides are weighing plans under which Renault would cut its 43.4 percent holding in Nissan, a move meant to rebalance their global alliance, the Journal said, citing internal emails as well as people briefed on the talks. Any reduction of the stake would need approval from France, which owns 15 percent of Renault.
A spokeswoman for Nissan declined to comment on the report. Representatives for Renault and the French government didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Merger talks between Fiat and Renault collapsed in June when Fiat’s controlling Agnelli family walked away from the deal as the French government sought more time to convince their unsupportive counterparts at Nissan.
Talks to modify the alliance’s structure — which are at an early stage — began after the Renault-Fiat deal collapsed, the Journal reported. They could lead to an initial memorandum of understanding on the restructuring as soon as September, the newspaper said, citing emails.