Fiat Chrysler withdraws merger proposal for Renault

FILE PHOTO: The logo of FIAT carmaker is seen on a vehicle in Cairo, Egypt, May 19, 2019. Picture taken May 19, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo

Mohamed Abd El Ghany | Reuters

Fiat Chrysler has withdrawn its merger proposal for Renault, a person familiar with the talks told CNBC on Wednesday.

Bloomberg and Dow Jones earlier reported that the merger was called off after Renault’s board failed to make a decision on the bid.

The French carmaker’s board met to consider the proposal late Wednesday. Nissan’s two representatives on Renault’s board were withholding their support as other board members were planning to submit favorable votes for the merger, Dow Jones reported.

Renault’s board said in a press release late Wednesday the directors “were unable to take a decision due to the request expressed by the representatives of the French State to postpone the vote to a later Council.”

The two automakers were exploring a merger in order to curb costs producing vehicles and combine resources. The merger would have created the world’s third-largest automaker and would produce estimated sales of 8.7 million vehicles per year.

The French government said it wouldn’t back the merger unless Nissan guaranteed that Renault’s long-held alliance with Nissan would continue, sources told Dow Jones. Once the state requested a delay on the vote for the merger proposal, Fiat Chrysler withdrew.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said earlier on Wednesday that there was no reason to rush on the merger talks between the carmakers but emphasized that he wanted the deal to move forward.

“We should take our time to make sure that things are done well,” Le Maire told BFM TV on Wednesday.

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