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Photo Reuters
Photo Reuters

Nissan refutes deal talks with Mitsubishi

We are not in any discussion or consideration of changing the capital structure in our partner companies, Nissan’s chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta said

Nissan Motor Co. is “absolutely not" in talks to sell its stake Mitsubishi Motors Corp., Nissan’s chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta said on Monday, following a report the carmaker was considering pulling out of its alliance partner.

“We are not in any discussion or consideration of changing the capital structure in our partner companies. We are moving ahead with many projects," Gupta said in an interview at the Reuters Automotive Summit teleconference.

He spoke after Bloomberg News reported earlier, citing unidentified people who claimed to have knowledge of the matter, that Nissan was considering selling its 34% stake in Mitsubishi Motor to help it cope with the slump in demand caused by the covid-19 pandemic.

Such a deal would fundamentally reshape a three-way alliance that includes France’s Renault built by Carlos Ghosn, former chairman of the alliance. The partnership was plunged into uncertainty when Ghosn was arrested in 2018 on financial misconduct charges, which he denies.

At Monday’s closing price in Tokyo, Nissan’s stake in Mitsubishi Motors was worth $975.8 million. Nissan shares rose 5% on the Bloomberg report, while Mitsubishi Motors, which said it would continue to collaborate with its alliance partner, gained 3%.

Nissan last week cut its operating loss forecast for the year to March by 28%, helped by a rebound in demand, especially in China.

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