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Fiat Chrysler CEO says open to reviving Renault merger talks

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV CEO Mike Manley said the Italian-American carmaker is open to revisiting merger talks with Renault SA as the French company works to reduce its stake in Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., the Financial Times (London) reported Aug. 4.

Manley's comments to the FT came shortly after The Wall Street Journal reported that Renault is planning to cut its 43.4% stake in Nissan in order to get the Japanese carmaker to "consider that an agreement with FCA would be acceptable."

Renault and Fiat Chrysler announced in May that the two companies were in talks for a "transformative" all-share merger that would have created a €34.24 billion company.

However, talks fell apart in June after the French government, which owns 15% of Renault, failed to back the plan without Nissan's assurance that the auto alliance between Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. would still continue after the merger.

Manley told the FT that Fiat Chrysler was still "interested in hearing" from Renault as the merger offers "significant synergies."

"The industrial logic that was present before, it is still present… Should the circumstances change, then maybe dreams come together and things can happen," Manley said.

Nissan wants Renault to cut its stake in the company to between 20% and 25%, while Renault plans to reduce its shareholding to about 30% to 35%, according to FT.

"As they work through those things, those circumstances that are necessary to move or change potentially could happen… If that was the case, we would be interested in hearing from them," Manley reportedly said.

Nissan and Renault did not immediately respond to S&P Global Market Intelligence's requests for comment.