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Nissan boss Saikawa fails to meet Renault’s Bollore: source



YOKOHAMA (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) CEO Hiroto Saikawa failed to secure a hoped-for meeting this week with the acting boss of partner automaker Renault (RENA.PA) to discuss the arrest of top executive Carlos Ghosn, a source told Reuters on Wednesday.

Tensions have risen between Nissan and Renault since Ghosn’s arrest in Japan over allegations that he understated his salary at Nissan where he was promptly sacked as chairman while Renault has kept him on as chairman and CEO.

A source told Reuters Saikawa, Renault Deputy CEO Thierry Bollore and Osamu Masuko, CEO of partner automaker Mitsubishi Motors Corp (7211.T), did attend a regular operational meeting in Amsterdam on Tuesday, but Saikawa and Bollore did not meet privately.

A Nissan spokesman declined to comment.

Earlier this week, Nissan shunned demands from Renault to hold a shareholder meeting which would enable the French automaker to weigh in on Nissan’s selection of Ghosn’s replacement and other executive positions.

Renault owns 43.4 percent of Nissan, which holds a 15 percent stake in its French parent but no voting rights. Nissan owns 34 percent of Mitsubishi.

Ghosn was charged in Japan last week alongside Nissan board member Greg Kelly and Nissan itself over their failure to declare $43 million in deferred income.

Ghosn and Kelly remain in custody and have had limited opportunity to respond to the allegations or defend themselves publicly.

The scandal has shaken the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, with Saikawa calling for changes to weaken Renault’s control over Nissan.

Reporting by Maki Shiraki; editing by Robert Birsel and Jason Neely