A week after the shipwreck of the negotiations between the FCA and Renault for a possible merger 50-50, the French finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, back on the topic, showing an opening. Talks between Renault and Fca), said Le Maire in an interview on FranceInfo TV, “can be resumed after you have re-created the trust” with Nissan.
“As a State we have never put the veto to this operation,” said Le Maire, responding to the barbs of the president of Renault, Jean-Dominque Sénard, that in the day of yesterday, while speaking to shareholders, said he was “sorry” for the negative vote of the French State with respect to the merger during the last board of directors of the group in Boulogne-Billlancourt. The Maire has defended himself from the accusations of Sénard, stating that the State “did not fail the marriage between Renault and Fiat”.
“We just asked, seeing that Nissan did not provide its support, five additional days to examine an operation from up to 30 billion euro of market capitalisation,” explained Le Maire, going back to insist on the need to strengthen, first of all, the alliance with Nissan, but re-opening the door to a merger with FCA.
“I do not know what will reserve us the future, what I can say is that this project remains in my mind as a theme absolutely remarkable and outstanding, “said Sénard during the general assembly of Renault in Paris. To those who had expressed doubts about the real potential of the operations, seen examples of bankruptcy in the past, Sénard had answered: “it Is true, many of the mergers, at times, dictated by ego, do not work, including in the automotive industry, I recognize that some have not been glorious. But in this case, I want to tell you, with my industrial experience, that I know very well what was to be or not to be done”.
“I know that this kind of operations can be realized when the cultural issues are easy. And in this case there were all the conditions for this cultural link. Have shown the links to all of our teams respective” during the negotiation. “I have the certainty, in that project there was a real potential for success,” he insisted Sénard, adding that “for the first time would have created a set on a european base, a european champion. A perfect example to prove that we can do together”.