French State Won't Sell Renault Shares at Loss, Macron Says

The French government will reduce its holding in Renault as planned though it won’t sell the shares bought earlier this year at a loss, Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said.

The government lifted its stake in the car maker to 19.7 percent earlier this year to fend off a motion that would have ended double voting rights. The reduction of the holding back down to 15 percent will be done over time.

“We won’t lose money on this operation,” Macron said Tuesday on Europe 1 radio. “We’re not far from being able to do it, it needs to be done gradually,” he added.

The French government and Renault Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn are wrangling over the governance of the company and the future of its alliance with Japan’s Nissan Motor Co. Macron repeated today that France doesn’t want a full merger and ideally would like to preserve the alliance in its current form.

“I’m in favor of two things, the preservation of the Renault-Nissan balance as it has existed since 2002 and, secondly, the operational integration of the two groups,” he said. “It’s not a merger,” Macron added. “That’s not on the agenda.”

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