Renault Group Sells 211M Nissan Shares for Euro 764M

Renault Group Sells 211M Nissan Shares for Euro 764M

Renault Group has recently announced a strategic move involving the sale of 211 million Nissan shares to Nissan, representing a 5% stake in Nissan's capital.

Key Features of Renault Group's Strategic Shift and Nissan Share Sale

Renault Group has embarked on a transformative journey marked by the strategic sale of 5% of its Nissan shares, a pivotal move in the context of the New Alliance Agreement. Here are the key features and implications of this strategic shift:

1.Monetization Initiation

Renault Group has kickstarted the monetization process of 211 million Nissan shares, constituting 5% of Nissan's capital. This move aligns with the broader strategic objectives outlined in the New Alliance Agreement.

2.Capital Allocation Strategy – Two-Phase Approach

  • Phase 1Core Strengthening: Renault Group is in the process of implementing strategic projects under the "Revolution" phase. This includes initiatives such as Ampere and Horse, aimed at enhancing operating performance and generating free cash flow. The overarching goal is to reduce debt and reclaim an investment-grade credit rating.
  • Phase 2Development and Returns: The second phase focuses on the further development of Renault Group around diverse value chains and delivering returns to shareholders. The €764 million cash inflow resulting from the Nissan share sale is earmarked for covering financial investments planned for 2023 and 2024.

3. Dividend Policy and Employee Shareholding Plans

The group is committed to a gradual increase in the pay-out ratio, reaching up to 35% of net income - Group share, as part of its dividend policy. Employee shareholding plans are being actively implemented, with a targeted 10% of employee shareholders by 2030.

4. Reinvestment of Excess Cash

Renault Group plans to reinvest at least 50% of the excess cash generated by the group, ensuring strategic deployment of financial resources.

5. Financial Investments and Deleveraging

The €764 million cash inflow from the Nissan share sale is strategically allocated to cover financial investments in 2023 and planned for 2024. This approach facilitates faster deleveraging, reinforcing the group's commitment to regaining an investment-grade rating.

6. Implications of the Nissan Share Sale

The sale of 211 million Nissan shares at a transaction value of €764 million results in an improved net financial position for Renault Group's Automotive segment. The cancellation of acquired shares by Nissan carries an accretive effect on the capital position.

7. Capital Loss Mitigation

The anticipated capital loss on disposal, initially projected up to €1.5 billion, will be reduced to approximately €1 billion. This capital loss, while impacting consolidated financial statements, will be excluded from the net income parent share calculation base for dividend payout.

8. Renault S.A. Financial Statements

Renault S.A. records a disposal gain of around €100 million on the shares in its annual financial statements as of December 31, 2023.

9. Strategic Stake and Voting Rights

Renault Group's direct holding in Nissan's capital automatically rises to 15.79% following the cancellation of acquired shares. The group maintains a strategic stake without an obligation to dispose of the excess 0.79% beyond the 15%. Voting rights for both Renault Group and Nissan continue to be capped at 15%.

10. Commitment to Transformation and Sustainability

Renault Group reiterates its commitment to an ambitious transformation, leveraging alliances, electrification expertise, and a diverse brand portfolio. The group aims to contribute to a carbon-neutral future in Europe by 2040, aligning with environmental sustainability goals.

In summary, Renault Group's strategic shift and the sale of Nissan shares exemplify a dynamic approach to navigating the evolving automotive landscape, with a focus on financial resilience, operational excellence, and sustainable mobility solutions.

Phase 1: "Revolution" Strategic Projects and Financial Optimization

The initial phase involves the implementation of strategic projects under the "Revolution" initiative, including ventures like Ampere and Horse. One of the primary objectives during this phase is to regain an investment-grade credit rating.

Until the investment-grade rating is achieved, Renault Group will adhere to its dividend policy, gradually increasing its pay-out ratio to reach up to 35% of net income - Group share. As part of its commitment to shareholder value, Renault Group plans to reinvest a minimum of 50% of the excess cash generated by the group. Financial investments will be allocated strategically, with a maximum of 15 to 20% of free cash flow dedicated to such investments, contingent on alignment with the group's Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) targets.

Future Phases and Evolving Priorities

While Phase 1 is centered on realizing the strategic projects and bolstering financial fundamentals, Renault Group is poised for subsequent phases with evolving priorities.

Phase 2

This comes on the heels of the recent sale of 211 million Nissan shares, representing 5% of Nissan's capital, as part of the group's capital allocation strategy.

Fast-Tracking Deleveraging with €764 Million Inflow

The sale of Nissan shares has resulted in a significant cash inflow of €764 million for Renault Group. This substantial financial boost is earmarked for covering both the financial investments made by the group in 2023 and those planned for the upcoming year, 2024. The infusion of capital is strategically aligned to expedite the deleveraging process, reinforcing Renault Group's commitment to regaining an investment-grade credit rating.

Navigating Market Dynamics: Adapting to Share Buyback Program

The sale of Nissan shares is intricately connected to the share buyback program announced by Nissan on December 12, 2023. The execution of this program on December 13, 2023, facilitated the sale of Renault Group's shares to Nissan. In a strategic move, Nissan has also announced the cancellation of all the acquired shares on December 15, 2023, signaling a streamlined and dynamic approach to managing its shareholding structure.

Renault Group's Strategic Roadmap Unfolding

Renault Group's strategic roadmap is unfolding with precision, guided by a two-phase approach that integrates financial prudence, operational excellence, and shareholder value. Renault Group's strategic evolution exemplifies a commitment to agility, adaptability, and a forward-looking approach.