TOKYO – Shares of Nissan Motor Co. fell 5% on Monday, their biggest fall in more than a month, following a report that top shareholder Renault may consider reducing its stake in the Japanese carmaker.
Bloomberg reported on Friday that Renault may consider reducing its Nissan shareholding as part of its plans to separate its electric vehicle business. French carmaker Tesla and Volkswagen are moving ahead with plans to split their electric and combustion engine businesses in a bid to catch up.
On Friday, Renault said all options are on the table to segregate the electric car business, with a potential public listing for the second half of 2023.
Any plans would be subject to the approval of alliance partner Nissan, Renault Finance chief Thierry Pitton said, adding that the Japanese carmaker had added a “loop” because Renault weighed its options.
Renault and Nissan declined to comment on the report.
Shares of Nissan in Tokyo fell to 509.8 yen, marking their biggest one-day fall since early March, and the Nikkei index fell nearly 2%.
A two-decade-old alliance of carmakers, including Mitsubishi Motors, has been embroiled in a financial scandal following the 2018 overthrow of Alliance founder Carlos Ghosn. They have since promised to pool more resources.
In January, they said they would work more closely to build electric cars. They detailed the $ 26 billion investment plan for the next five years.
But their unequal relationship has long been a source of contention in Japan. Renault owns 43.4% of Nissan, resulting in a 15% non-voting share of its shareholders. Renault bailed out Nissan two decades ago, but is now a small automaker in terms of sales.