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Nissan shares rise after overhaul of Renault alliance By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The brand logo of Nissan Motor Corp. is seen on a tyre wheel of the company’s car at their showroom in Tokyo, Japan November 11, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) -Shares of Nissan (OTC:) Motor Corp rose in Tokyo on Tuesday, after the Japanese automaker and its French partner Renault SA (OTC:) announced a sweeping overhaul of their two-decade-old alliance putting them on equal footing.

Nissan shares climbed as much as 3.1% in early trade before giving up some gains. They finished the morning session up 2.1%, outperforming a slightly negative share average.

Under the deal announced on Monday, Nissan and Renault (EPA:) will now hold 15% stakes in each other, and Nissan will get voting rights with its stake. Previously, Renault held around 43% of the Japanese automaker and Nissan did not have voting rights.

The uneven nature of the alliance had long been a source of friction for Nissan executives.

“The normalisation of the capital relationship will raise the amount of freedom Nissan has in terms of management, making it easier to adopt a strategy that focuses on the United States, China and emerging markets,” Masayuki Kubota, chief strategist at Rakuten Securities, told Reuters following Monday’s announcement.

It will see Renault put around 28% of the Japanese automaker in a French trust. That includes a lock-up that prevents share sales for a certain period, as well as a standstill obligation, which puts other limits on a stock sale.

The restructuring addresses historical concerns about shareholder governance, given that Nissan was unable to exercise its voting rights, Nomura analyst Masataka Kunugimoto said in a note.

“A relationship where both companies have equal voting rights of 15% in each other should substantially reduce concerns about governance,” Kunugimoto said. “Overall, we think this announcement is likely to lead to a reappraisal of Nissan’s shares.”

Nomura has a “buy” rating on the stock, and a target price of 750 yen, well above Tuesday’s high of 468.1 yen.

Over the past three years, Nissan’s shares have fallen by around 23%, well behind a 24% gain by industry leader Toyota Motor (NYSE:) Corp and a 4% rise by Renault.

Renault’s shares closed 4% lower on Monday after the deal was announced.


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