June 29, 2011 / 10:50 AM / 7 years ago

Renault eyes 35 pct stake in Russia's AvtoVaz, Nissan 15 pct

TOKYO, June 29 (Reuters) - Renault SA may raise its stake in top Russian car maker AvtoVAZ to 35 percent, while Nissan Motor Co will likely own 15 percent, Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said in an analyst presentation.

Ghosn gave the breakdown during a presentation to financial analysts of Nissan’s new, six-year business plan on Monday, according to several participants reached by Reuters on Wednesday.

The company had previously not publicly disclosed the specific breakdown of the stakes sought by Renault and Nissan in the Russian company.

The Franco-Japanese auto group has been in talks with AvtoVAZ’s shareholders to take a majority stake in the maker of Lada cars, with Ghosn flagging a completion of the deal by the end of this year. Renault already owns 25 percent plus one share of AvtoVAZ.

The additional 10 percent stake acquired by Renault and the 15 percent stake from Nissan would be worth about $415 million, based on AvtoVaz’s current market value.

“We will end up very likely with something around 15 percent shares for Nissan and 35 percent plus for Renault,” Ghosn told analysts.

“Why 15 percent for us (Nissan)? Because this will give us some advantages financially. And, on top of this, I would like to also ... have at least two Nissan representatives” on the AvtoVAZ board, Ghosn was quoted as saying.

Renault and Nissan are both looking to use the production capacity available at AvtoVAZ’s sprawling Togliatti factory to boost sales in the fast-emerging market.

Ghosn also said during the same conference call that he did not expect a change in the Renault-Nissan alliance’s capital structure, now under review, for at least two years. (Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim. Editing by Michael Flaherty)

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