Re­nault boss faces tight share­holder vote on pay

The Gulf Today - Business - - INTERNATIONAL -

PARIS: Re­nault boss Car­los Ghosn faces another nail-bit­ing salary vote when the French govern­ment, the car­maker’s largest share­holder, is ex­pected to op­pose his 7.4 mil­lion euro ($8.7 mil­lion) 2017 pay­out at Fri­day’s an­nual share­holder meet­ing.

Ghosn, who lost a vote on pay in 2016, is also up for re­newal as chair­man and CEO for another four-year term in which he has pledged to pur­sue closer con­sol­i­da­tion with al­liance part­ners Nissan and Mit­subishi.

The French state holds a 15 per cent Re­nault stake with dou­ble vot­ing rights, capped at 18-20 per cent for votes on re­mu­ner­a­tion and other or­di­nary busi­ness.

The Re­nault-nissan chief, 64, se­cured govern­ment sup­port for his re­newal - likely to over­come some in­vestor mis­giv­ings over his ac­cu­mu­la­tion of se­nior roles - af­ter agree­ing to cut this year’s over­all pay pack­age by about 30 per cent.

But the govern­ment has told Re­nault it will op­pose Ghosn’s 2017 pay, in line with its pol­icy, com­pany and official sources said, rais­ing the prospect of a sec­ond neg­a­tive vote in two years. French “say on pay” votes have be­come bind­ing since the last re­jec­tion.

This time Ghosn may squeak through with the backing of in­flu­en­tial proxy ad­viser ISS, which rec­om­mended in a May 22 re­port that share­hold­ers back a 2017 pack­age that “does not raise any sig­nif­i­cant con­cern”. Early in­vestor sound­ings sug­gest ra­zor-thin ma­jor­ity sup­port at the June 15 meet­ing.

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