Renault chief frustrated by French state over botched merger

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A sign of French automaker Renault Group shows the way for the Renault shareholders general meeting in Paris, France, Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

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PARIS (AP) — Renault’s chairman has expressed his frustration with the French government, a majority shareholder, which he says resisted a merger deal proposed by Fiat Chrysler.

Jean-Dominique Senard told a shareholders’ meeting in Paris on Wednesday that “I have rarely seen a merger proposal that could give so much positive synergy.”

He said that at a board meeting to discuss the plan, everyone approved “with enthusiasm” except one. Board members from Renault’s alliance member, Nissan, abstained but were positive.

He said the French government, which is Renault’s biggest shareholder, had not shared his analysis of the benefits of the merger. Senard added: “I can frankly say that disappoints me.”

Senard said that the merger proposal “remains in my head potentially remarkable and exceptional.”

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