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Nissan, Renault eye reshaping for Fiat fusion: report

New York (AFP) – Nissan and Renault are considering changes to partnership to revive merger negotiations with US-Italian carmaker Fiat Chrysler, US media reported Friday.

Negotiations for a tie between Renault and Fiat Chrysler (FCA) collapsed in June, with Renault's chairman blaming the French government for blocking a vote on the deal that would have supported the global car industry and created the world's third largest car manufacturer.

The French government has denied the allegation while Nissan has characterized the relationship with Renault as dissimilar, saying that the French carmaker kept it in the dark over its merger plans with the FCA.

Citing emails and sources close to the companies, The Wall Street Journal reported that Nissan now asks Renault to reduce its 43 percent stake in the Japanese car manufacturer.

Nissan controls 1[ads1]5 percent and has no voting rights in Renault, which is also part-owned by the French vernment.

A rebalanced relationship would help ease some of the tensions between the two car manufacturers and relieve Nissan's reluctance to support the merger with the FCA, the newspaper said.

A draft agreement on relationship restructuring could come as early as September, the magazine reported, citing an email from July.

Any deal would need green light from the French state, which owns 15 percent of Renault.

That approval is not given: French President Emmanuel Macron said in late June that he would not consider any changes to the two companies' structure.

In the same month, Nissan shareholders approved an overhaul that was intended to strengthen control of the car manufacturer after former chief Carlos Ghosn was arrested on several financial charges of fraud.

Nissan declined to comment on AFP. Renault did not respond to a request for comment.

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