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雷诺与菲亚特合并:即将煮熟的鸭子飞了

这家法国汽车制造商推迟交易批准决定,菲亚特克莱斯勒随后也撤回了合并要约。

就在雷诺公司董事会即将批准与菲亚特克莱斯勒的合并交易之际,这家法国汽车制造商却在多天内第二次推迟交易批准决定。随后,菲亚特克莱斯勒撤回了合并要约。

雷诺董事会在当地时间上周四早上结束了一次长达数小时的会议,没有对此事进行表决,因为此前雷诺最重要的股东法国政府要求该公司审慎行事,推迟交易批准日期。雷诺在菲亚特克莱斯勒撤回要约之前发表的声明中称,公司将继续“饶有有兴趣地”评估这份要约。

菲亚特克莱斯勒将撤约一事归咎于法国政府,因为自5月27日该交易宣布以来,法国政府在裁员、治理和其他事宜方面不断加码。

这家生产吉普SUV和Ram皮卡的汽车制造商“依然坚信这份要约拥有令人信服的、变革性的合理依据”。菲亚特克莱斯勒还表示,“这份经过仔细权衡的要约能为各方带来巨大的利益”。 “然而,我们明显看到,法国目前不具备成功开展这一合并的政治条件。”

作为菲亚特创建家族阿涅利家族的掌舵人,菲亚特克莱斯勒的董事长约翰·埃尔坎希望通过这项要约打造全球第三大汽车制造商,因此撤约对他来说是一个巨大的失利。此前,埃尔坎与雷诺的跨城竞争对手标致集团进行了磋商,然后决定选择一条风险更大的途径——无视雷诺与政府之间的复杂关系及其与联盟伙伴日产之间的紧张气氛,向该公司抛出了合并要约。

看似即将要煮熟的鸭子竟然飞了,这让雷诺董事长盛纳德陷入了困境。他曾经试图拉拢这家法国汽车制造商的所有支持者,但未能成功。除了法国政府提出的各项要求以外,工会表达了对裁员方面的顾虑,而日产则忙于收拾雷诺日产联盟董事长卡洛斯·戈恩被免职后留下的烂摊子。

知情人士称,雷诺董事会原本准备批准这项交易,日产的代表则投了弃权票。知情人士还透露,法国政府代表要求推迟表决,因为法国官方此前明确表示需要先与日本当局进行磋商,然后再做决定。一名知情人士补充说,法国财政部部长布鲁诺·勒梅尔计划在不久后访问日本。

一位出于基本规定要求不能透露其身份的法国政府官员表示,法方需要更多时间来打消日方的顾虑,并对交易进行解释。他还表示,法国政府对菲亚特克莱斯勒仓促撤约之举感到吃惊。

财政部长发言人并未回复置评请求。

最近几天,针对菲亚特克莱斯勒5月27日要约的批评之声日益高涨。法国政府要求,菲亚特克莱斯勒必须就裁员、董事会席位以及让66岁的盛纳德担任合并后公司首席执行官等事宜做出保证。

雷诺董事会于上周二休会,未就合并要约采取行动,并称需要仔细研究这份要约。

未被纳入合并交易的日产已经拒绝支持该交易。知情人士此前透露,尽管盛纳德曾经希望至少从日产方面获得有条件的支持,但这家日本汽车制造商在雷诺董事会中的代表必然会投弃权票。

一些投资者也已经对此次交易提出质疑。位于巴黎的激进投资管理公司CIAM致函雷诺董事会称,与菲亚特克莱斯勒的合并大大低估了雷诺的价值,而且菲亚特克莱斯勒股东因此而获得的25亿欧元(约合28亿美元)股息应该派发给雷诺股东。(财富中文网)

译者:艾伦

审校:夏林

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV abruptly withdrew its offer to combine with Renault SA after the French carmaker’s board—on the brink of approving the deal—postponed a decision for a second time in as many days.

Renault’s board ended an hours-long meeting early last Thursday without a vote after its most important shareholder, the French state, requested deliberations by put off to a later date. Renault, in a statement issued before Fiat’s withdrawal, said it would continue to review “with interest” the proposal.

Fiat Chrysler blamed the French government, which has ratcheted up demands over jobs, governance and other items since the deal was announced on May 27.

The maker of Jeep SUVs and Ram pickups “remains firmly convinced of the compelling, transformational rationale” of a proposal that was “carefully balanced to deliver substantial benefits to all parties,” it said separately. “However it has become clear that the political conditions in France do not currently exist for such a combination to proceed successfully.”

The collapse of his proposal to create the world’s third-largest automaker marks a significant retreat for Chairman John Elkann, who leads the company’s founding Agnelli family. After discussions with Renault’s cross-town rival Groupe PSA, Elkann opted for the riskier path, proceeding with an offer for Renault despite the complications of the government’s role and its strained relationship with alliance partner Nissan Motor Co.

The breakdown of talks on a night when a deal appeared to be in hand also leaves Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard in a difficult position, having sought and failed to bring the French carmaker’s various constituencies into agreement. In addition to the demands from the French state, unions were worried about jobs and Japanese partner Nissan felt burned by the previous regime under deposed alliance Chairman Carlos Ghosn.

Renault’s board was poised to approve the deal, with Nissan representatives abstaining, according people familiar with the matter. But France’s representatives asked for more time after officials made clear they wanted to discuss with Japanese authorities before making a decision, they said. Finance minister Bruno Le Maire plans a trip to Japan soon, one of the people added.

More time was needed to reassure the Japanese side and explain the deal, a French government official said, asking not to be identified to comply with ground rules. The person added that the government found surprising Fiat’s rushed move to withdraw its offer.

A spokesman for the minister didn’t return requests for comment.

Criticism of Fiat’s May 27 proposal has gathered steam in recent days. France asked for assurances on jobs, board representation and the role of Senard, 66, who would be chief executive officer of the combined company.

Renault’s board on last Tuesday adjourned without taking action on the proposal, saying it needed to study the draft in detail.

Nissan, which isn’t part of the Fiat deal, has withheld its support. Its representatives to the French carmaker’s board were set to abstain, according to people familiar with the matter, despite Senard’s desire to win at least conditional backing from the Japanese manufacturer.

Some investors have also voiced doubts. Paris-based activist investment manager CIAM, in a letter to Renault’s board, said the merger with Fiat significantly undervalues Renault and that a 2.5 billion-euro ($2.8 billion) dividend set to go to Fiat Chrysler shareholders should instead be paid to the French company.

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