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France will accept smaller Renault stake in Nissan: minister

Le Maire says Paris will not force a merger, but alliance must continue

France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire speaks to the Nikkei Asian Review in Tokyo on June 10. (Photo by Arisa Moriyama)

TOKYO -- Paris would be open to Renault reducing its 43.4% stake in Japanese partner Nissan Motor, the French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday, as he sought to calm the rising tensions that threaten the two companies' global carmaking alliance.

The minister also signaled that Paris would not push a controversial merger of Nissan and Renault to cement the alliance. "If a merger is a problem for our Japanese partners we will not force it. We will find another solution" he said. Nissan earlier this spring strongly rejected a merger proposal from Renault.

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