Nissan refuses claims of pulling out stakes in Mitsubishi

Nissan Motor Co is “absolutely not” pulling out its stake in Mitsubishi Motors Corp, its alliance partner, Nissan’s chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta confirmed on Monday after a report alleged that the carmaker was considering removing its stakes in its alliance partner.

“We are not in any discussion or consideration of changing the capital structure in our partner companies. We are moving ahead with many projects,” Ashwani Gupta said in an interview.

He cleared the air after a news agency had reported citing unidentified sources claiming to have knowledge on the matter, that Nissan might be pulling out its 34 percent stakes in Mitsubishi Motor to help it cope with the backlash due to COVID-19.

Pulling out of Mitsubishi would fundamentally help reshape a three-way merger including France’s Renault built by Carlos Ghosn, former chairman of the alliance. The partnership was deemed uncertain after Ghosn was arrested in 2018 on financial misconduct charges, which he denies.

Nissan’s stake in Mitsubishi Motors was worth $975.8 million at Monday’s closing price in Tokyo. Mitsubishi Motors, which confirmed that it would continue to hold its stake with its alliance partner, has gained 3 percent in stocks.

Last week, Nissan reduced its operating loss forecast for the year to March by 28 percent facilitated by a rebound in demand in China.