Renault limited to 44.4% stake in Nissan under agreement, filing shows

FILE PHOTO: The logos of car manufacturers Nissan and Renault are pictured at a dealership Kyiv, Ukraine June 25, 2020. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) -Nissan Motor Co Ltd on Thursday gave some details of its two-decade-old alliance agreement with top shareholder Renault SA for the first time, revealing the French automaker cannot unilaterally increase its stake beyond 44.4%.

In an annual securities report, Nissan said Renault cannot raise its stake without Nissan's permission except in cases such as if another entity bids for the Japanese automaker.

Renault's stake is around 43%. Nissan owns 15% of Renault but without voting rights.

This is the first time Nissan has revealed details of the so-called Restated Alliance Master Agreement, though Renault has previously disclosed elements. Their relationship has been a source of tension in Japan where it is widely seen as unequal.

The filing showed Nissan is allowed to acquire an additional stake in Renault if the French automaker makes a shareholder proposal that Nissan's board does not support.

The Japanese automaker can also increase its stake if Renault does not support its proposal for a Nissan board member selection, the filing showed.

Thursday's disclosure came after a shareholder proposal to make the alliance agreement public was voted down at Nissan's annual general meeting this week.

Nissan said it would disclose the agreement by Thursday to the extent it did not violate confidentiality obligations.

Shares of Nissan were down 2.8% at 533.5 yen, underperforming the Nikkei 225 average, which was down 1.3%.

(Reporting by Satoshi Sugiyama; Editing by David Dolan and Christopher Cushing)

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