PARIS (Reuters) – Renault (PA:RENA) requested a full Nissan shareholder meeting, a source close to the company said – appearing to escalate the carmaker’s standoff with its Japanese alliance partner in the wake of the pay scandal engulfing Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn.
Thierry Bollore, the French group’s deputy CEO, issued the demand in a Dec. 14 letter to Nissan, the source said on Sunday, confirming a report in the Wall Street Journal.
“We respectfully ask that the board consider calling an extraordinary general meeting of Nissan shareholders as promptly as practicable,” Bollore wrote in the letter.
A Renault spokesman declined to comment.
Ghosn’s arrest in Japan for alleged financial misconduct has shaken the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, with Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa calling for changes to weaken Renault’s control.
Renault owns 43.4 percent of Nissan, whose reciprocal 15 percent stake in its French parent carries no voting rights. Nissan in turn controls Mitsubishi via a 34 percent holding.
The call for a shareholder meeting will likely be seen as an attempted show of force by Renault’s interim management, led by Bollore and Mouna Sepehri, Ghosn’s long-standing chief of staff who also heads legal affairs and communications.