France engaged constructively in failed FCA-Renault talks: Le Maire

French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire attends a news conference on the development and production of European batteries in Paris, France, May 2, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s finance minister said on Thursday following the collapse of merger talks between Fiat Chrysler (FCA) and Renault that the government had engaged constructively but failed to win the support of Renault’s Japanese partner, Nissan.

“An agreement had been reached on three of the four conditions. What remained to be obtained was the explicit support of Nissan,” Bruno Le Maire said.

FCA blamed French politics for scuppering the $35 billion merger proposal.

“It has become clear that the political conditions in France do not currently exist for such a combination to proceed successfully,” Fiat Chrysler said in a statement.

France’s four conditions were: respecting Renault’s existing alliance with Nissan; keeping jobs in France; forming a balanced corporate governance structure between Renault and Fiat; and ensuring the new company commit to developing electric batteries along with Germany.

French government officials had pushed for Nissan to support the merger. Nissan had said it would abstain.

Renault said its board 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 meeting.”

Le Maire added that Renault remained well placed in the auto sector and well-positioned to tackle challenges such as developing electric vehicles and reducing emissions.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by Richard Lough