April 26, 2018 / 12:00 AM / a year ago

Nissan CEO says 'no merit' in merger with Renault: Nikkei

Nissan Motor Co. Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa attends a news conference at the company headquarters in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Japan November 17, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

(Reuters) - Nissan Motor Co Ltd’s (7201.T) chief executive dismissed the idea of merging the Japanese automaker with its alliance partner Renault SA (RENA.PA), emphasizing the importance of independence as the French government pushes for a deal, the Nikkei reported.

CEO Hiroto Saikawa, in an interview on Wednesday, told Nikkei he saw "no merit here" in combining the whole companies, which he said would have "side effects" that he did not explain.

Sources told Reuters in March that the automakers were discussing plans for a closer tie-up in which Nissan would acquire the bulk of the French state’s 15 percent Renault holding.

Nissan owns a 15 percent controlling stake in Renault, with no voting rights. Renault owns 43.4 percent of Nissan and has limited formal control.

Saikawa said Nissan sought to maintain its three-way alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi Motors Corp (7211.T) while striving to make management more efficient, the Nikkei reported.

Reporting by Ahmed Farhatha; Editing by Richard Chang

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