Nissan agrees to Mitsubishi stake deal
NissanMotor Co completed its acquisition of a $2.3 billion stake in Mitsubishi Motors Corp, clearing the way for Carlos Ghosn to take over as chairman and embark on a bid to turn around a third major automaker.
Mitsubishi Motors said Nissan paid 468.52 yen ($4.54) per share for about 34 percent of its outstanding stock. Ghosn will become chairman effective on Dec 14, putting him at the helm of Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan and its alliance partner Renault SA.
Nissan is coming to Mitsubishi Motors’ rescue following its admissions of improperly measuring fuel economy and manipulating test data.
A Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance creates the world’s fourth-largest auto group, after Toyota Motor Corp, Volkswagen AG and GeneralMotors Co. An industrywide push toward electrification and autonomoustechnology is leading smaller carmakers to align with bigger rivals to share resources and save costs, exemplified by Suzuki Motor Corp’s talks to form an alliance with Toyota.
Mitsubishi Motors Chairman and President Osamu Masuko will stay on as president of the company. An alliance with Nissan will create 25 billion yen in synergies for the 2017 fiscal year, he said.
Nissan expects common platforms and joint purchasing will yield savings equal to about 20 percent of its investment. The twocompanies have highlighted financial services, pickup trucks, and plug-in hybrid and electric cars among areas they can complement each other.