July 22, 2019
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Nissan shareholders approve corporate governance reform

Tokyo, Jun 25 (efe-epa).- The shareholders of Nissan Motor on Tuesday approved the reform of its management to prevent a concentration of power such as that wielded by former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, until last year.

The vote was held at the end of its 120th Ordinary Annual General Meeting of Shareholders in the city of Yokohama, south of Tokyo, and ran for three hours and 22 minutes, the company said in a statement.

Some 2,814 shareholders were present at the meeting, which was broadcast live.

The shareholders approved the creation of three board committees — one responsible for director nominations, another for executive remuneration and one for audit matters.

Eleven new directors were also elected, following the expiration of term of all existing directors, a Nissan statement said.

The approval of the reform had been up in the air for several days as Renault, which holds a 43.4 percent stake in Nissan, had announced it would abstain from the vote, which would have left the proposed changes short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass.

But a subsequent negotiation between Renault and Nissan resulted in the reformulation of the members of the committees to give greater weight to the former, and with the votes of the French automaker, the reform secured the required number of votes.

Present at the meeting was Nissan President Hiroto Saikawa and Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard, who underscored the 20-year alliance of the two companies.

The governance reform is an outcome of the internal review process carried out after Ghosn was dismissed from his Nissan post following his arrest in Tokyo on Nov. 19, 2018.

Ghosn, who was chairman of Renault, Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors, is facing charges for alleged financial irregularities in Japan and is also being investigated in France.

He has denied the charges and claims he was arrested as part of an alleged "conspiracy" by some executives of the Japanese firm over fears that a planned merger of the company with Renault would undermine its autonomy.

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Related content

Renault, Nissan maintain differences over possible merger

Tokyo, Jun 25 (efe-epa).- Renault and Nissan on Tuesday reaffirmed an alliance between the two created 20 years ago but maintained their differences regarding taking it to another level with a merger.

The issue came up during a shareholders meeting for Nissan Motor, held in Yokohama, south of the Japanese capital Tokyo, days after the two firms held antagonistic positions about an issue scheduled for Tuesday.

Renault had announced it would abstain from voting to elect three new board committees, which would have left the proposed changes short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass, as the French firm holds a 43.4 percent stake in Nissan.

But a subsequent negotiation between Renault and Nissan resulted in the reformulation of the members of the committees to give greater weight to the former, and with the votes of the French automaker, the reform secured the required number of votes.

However, from the positions that Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard and Nissan President Hiroto Saikawa defended before shareholders, emerged a fresh possibility of this alliance turning into a merger.

This option was advocated by former chairman of Renault and Nissan Motor, Carlos Ghosn, but after his exit from both firms – owing to his arrest in Tokyo for alleged financial irregularities –, Senard does not consider it a priority.

"This project in its time was incredible beneficiary to Nissan. It would have been a wonderful project for Nissan and the alliance," underlined Senard when a shareholder asked him his views about the merger, adding that had the deal gone through it would have been beneficial for the alliance.

The Nissan management has maintained its reservations over this possible merger, while Saikawa stressed that in the current set-up both parties in the alliance respected one another's independence and they would continue with the same attitude. EFE-EPA

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