Carlos Ghosn, who is currently being held in Japan while authorities investigate allegations of financial misconduct against the auto industry titan, is likely to remain in police custody for another ten days, according to media reports published Friday.
The extension request means authorities will have until December 10 to charge or release the 64-year old Ghosn, who was first arrested in November 19 as he arrived in Tokyo for a series of meetings linked to his role as chairman of Nissan Motor Co. (NSANY) , on charges that he under-reported millions in income that could have avoid bigger tax
Renault SA (RNLSY) shares were marked 0.34% lower in Paris Friday and changing hands a €62.25 each, down from around €64.50 when news of Ghosn's arrest was first made public.
Japanese media has also reported that France's President, Emannuel Macron -- who is credited with increasing the French stake in the three-way tie up to 43% when he served as Economy Minister in 2015 -- will meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina to discuss the future of the alliance between Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motor Co. (MSBHY) amid speculation that Ghosn's arrest has put the two-decade pact at risk.
This follows a crisis meeting of the three groups yesterday in Amsterdam, during which interim leaders of Renault and Nissan, along with Mitsubishi CEO Osamu Masuko, "emphatically reiterated" their commitment to the alliance even as they failed to name a temporary leader during Ghosn's incarceration.
Renault owns 43% of Nissan, which sells far more cars each year, and only has a 15% sake in the French -- equal to that of the French government -- in return. And while Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, has said it is important to maintain the alliance, some investors are wondering if Nissan may wish to extract itself from the tie-up in order to unlock some of the value trapped in the Ghson-led arrangement.
Nissan shares closed 0.97% higher in Tokyo at 994.3 yen each, but have fallen some 11.5% so far this year, a move accelerated by slumping North American sales and one of the weakest quarterly earnings reports in nearly 10 years over the three months ending in September.
Ghosn stepped down from his role as CEO of Nissan last year as the 64-year old began paring back his position as the world's most visible auto executive amid escalating tensions with the French government, which owns a 15% stake in Renault, and shareholder pressure to either merge its alliance with Nissan or deepen ties between the two auotmakers and Mitsubishi.
His 2017 payout, which included €7.4 million from Renault and €9.2 million over his final year at the helm of Nissan, was also approved following a 56% to 43% vote by shareholders even as the French government, which owns a 15% stake, rejected the compensation plan.
Ghosn won backing for another four-year term at the held of the Renault board in June, and told La Figaro newspaper in Paris that a plan for the future of the three-way alliance would be revealed "well before the end of my term, or even rather at the start."