PARIS (AP) — The Latest on the potential merger of carmakers Renault and Fiat Chrysler (all times local):
A person briefed on the matter says the French government and Fiat Chrysler have reached a tentative deal on terms for the carmaker’s potential merger with France’s Renault.
The person didn’t want to be identified because Renault’s board was still meeting late Wednesday to discuss the proposal.
The person says the deal between Fiat Chrysler and the government is a good sign but no guarantee the merger will be approved.
The French government owns 15% of Renault and had been seeking job and investment assurances and a seat on the merged entity’s board.
The government wouldn’t comment Wednesday.
Fiat Chrysler has proposed merging with Renault to create the world’s third-biggest automaker, worth almost $40 billion.
The combined company would produce some 8.7 million vehicles a year, more than General Motors and trailing only Volkswagen and Toyota.
-Angela Charlton in Paris
France’s finance minister says Renault and Fiat Chrysler shouldn’t rush into a merger.
Bruno Le Maire said Wednesday on BFM television that the government is keeping up pressure on both carmakers to accept French government conditions for the proposed tie-up. The French state is Renault’s biggest single shareholder, with a 15% stake.
Le Maire said the government wants a seat on the merged company’s board and a joint headquarters in France. “Let’s take the time to do things well,” he said. “We want this merger, but we don’t want it under just any conditions.”
Renault’s board is meeting late Wednesday to discuss Fiat Chrysler’s merger offer. It would create the world’s No. 3 auto company and reshape the industry as carmakers race to make electric and autonomous vehicles for the masses.