PARIS: Major Japanese trading house Mitsubishi Corp. is considering acquiring an equity stake of up to 10 pct in French automaker Renault SA, the French financial newspaper Les Echos reported Thursday.
The deal is expected to be announced in May at the earliest, the paper said.
According to the paper, the alliance of Renault and two Japanese automakers — Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. — started to consider a few months ago a plan for the trader to buy Renault shares.
Mitsubishi Corp., which holds a 20 pct stake in Mitsubishi Motors, would likely see an increase in its clout over the three-way automotive alliance if it acquires a Renault stake, informed sources said.
One source told the French paper that Mitsubishi Corp.’s possible acquisition of Renault shares is one of many options that are currently considered and that nothing has been decided at this stage.
The source added that the share buying would not be surprising since Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard has a good relationship with the trader.
Meanwhile, Renault told the newspaper that it will not comment on market speculation.