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Report: Nissan wants better merger terms with Renault

Japanese vehicle manufacturer Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. does not want a merger with France's Renault SA unless it gains more control in key business areas, Bloomberg News reported May 17, citing people familiar with the matter.

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa intends for the company to remain independent, the report said. Sources added that Nissan believes it has superior engineering capabilities and wants to be in charge of big operations like product development.

Renault currently holds a 43% stake in the Japanese manufacturer, while Nissan owns 15% of the French company.

In March, the two car companies were reported to be in talks to merge.

The French government, Renault's largest shareholder with a stake of 15.01%, had wanted the two companies to combine, according to an April report by The Nikkei Asian Review. However, a Nissan executive reportedly said that the Japanese firm did not want an integration.

Reuters then reported in May that the two parties were looking into other options, including a more balanced equity structure, in order to strengthen their alliance, which also includes Mitsubishi Motors Corp., of which Nissan owns 34%.

The unnamed sources reportedly told Bloomberg News that changes to the manufacturers' cross-shareholding arrangement, such as having Nissan increase its 15% stake in Renault, may keep the companies' partnership intact while allowing the Japanese firm to remain a separate entity.

Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault, intends to make sure that the two companies remain close allies regardless of who is in leadership, the report said.

Nissan and Renault representatives reportedly declined to comment.

Negotiations for a merger are not completely off the table, and a final decision is expected to come in June, when Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi hold their annual general meetings.