TOKYO (Reuters) – The Japanese government has guaranteed most of a loan to Nissan Motor Co7201.Tfrom the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ), a source said, taking its guarantee to more than 40% of 713 billion yen ($6.7 billion) in finance for Japan’s No.2 automaker.
The hefty government guarantee suggests financial firms are cautious about helping to fund the automaker as it seeks to return to profitability and stop bleeding cash.
The government has guaranteed 104 billion yen of the 180 billion in loans from the DBJ, said the source with direct knowledge of the matter who declined to be identified as the information is not public.
DBJ and Nissan declined to comment. The Ministry of Finance could not immediately be reached for comment.
Three other sources told Reuters in May the government would guarantee part of a loan from Mizuho Financial Group Inc8411.T, aimed at helping Nissan ride out the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two guarantees, if confirmed, would put the government on the hook to the tune of 304 billion yen, or 43% of the total loans Nissan has secured from its main lenders to weather the COVID-19 pandemic, Reuters calculations show.
Nissan has also secured 120 billion yen from Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group8306.Tand 50 billion yen from Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group8316.T, the sources previously told Reuters. The government has not guaranteed any portion of these loans, the sources said.
Nissan had pledged to slice 300 billion yen from annual fixed costs and become a smaller, more efficient company after the pandemic exacerbated a slide in profitability that culminated in its first annual loss since fiscal 2008 in the year ended March.
Reporting by Takashi Umekawa; Editing by Stephen Coates
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Nissan Motor Co7201.Twill issue $8 billion in dollar-denominated debt and is considering euro-denominated bonds, it said on Friday, as the troubled automaker looks to diversify its funding.
The bond sale is its first dollar-denominated issuance since its tie-up with France’s Renault SARENA.PAin 1999, a Nissan representative said.
It comes as investors have expressed deepening concern about Nissan, which has warned of a record $4.5 billion loss this year as the pandemic hampers its turnaround efforts.
Separately, IFR reported Nissan would sell some 2 billion euros ($2.37 billion) in euro-denominated debt. A Nissan spokeswoman said an issuance was under discussion, without confirming the figure.
The company will sell a $1.5 billion, 3-year bond with a coupon of 3.043%, and a $1.5 billion, 5-year bond with a coupon of 3.522%, according to IFR.
Its $2.5 billion, 7-year bond carries a coupon of 4.345% and another $2.5 billion bond, a 10-year, carries a 4.81% coupon, IFR said.
Nissan had pledged to cut 300 billion yen ($2.83 billion)from annual fixed costs and become a smaller, more efficient company. Japan’s second-largest carmaker is trying to recover from a rapid expansion that has left it with dismal margins and an ageing portfolio.
Its business has also been rocked by the arrest of long-time boss Carlos Ghosn.
Reporting by Noriyuki Hirata; writing by David Dolan; editing by Alex Richardson, Jason Neely and Emelia Sithole-Matarise
100 Thieves added former Counter-Strike: Global Offensive professional Josh “steel” Nissan to their Valorant roster, the organization announced Friday.
The announcement comes days after Chaos Esports Club announced that steel would transition to streaming full-time as a content creator for Valorant.
steel, 30, competed with Chaos Esports Club from November 2019 to the end of August.
Last month, 100 Thieves signed former CS:GO professional Nick “nitr0” Cannella to join Spencer “Hiko” Martin on their Valorant roster. Last month, the team released Dionedre “YaBoiDre” Bond, Alfred “Pride” Choi, Zachary “Venerated” Roach and Keane “Valliate” Alonso.
TOKYO (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T) on Monday blasted suggestions in media reports of a conspiracy within the company to oust former chairman Carlos Ghosn.
Ghosn’s 2018 arrest in Japan on financial misconduct charges has led to much speculation that the move was orchestrated by Nissan executives who opposed closer ties with partner Renault SA (RENA.PA).
“I know that in books and the media there has been talk about a conspiracy but there are no facts whatsoever to support this,” Motoo Nagai, chairman of Nissan’s auditing committee, told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting.
Responding to demands from a shareholder to address the speculation, Nagai argued that the investigation into Ghosn was conducted both internally and by outside law firms.
Monday’s meeting lasted almost two hours – twice as long as planned, as shareholders grilled Chief Executive Makoto Uchida on how he planned to restore trust in the company following the Ghosn scandal, and revive sales in the United States and China.
Uchida, who took the helm in December, told shareholders he would stick to his promise to step down as leader if he fails to deliver on a turnaround plan for the Japanese automaker, which last month reported its first annual loss in 11 years.
Seeking to slash costs and downsize after years of excessive spending in the pursuit of market share, Nissan plans to cut its model range by about a fifth and reduce production capacity, shuttering plants in Spain and Indonesia and laying off workers in countries including Mexico.
It now aims to sell 5 million vehicles a year, far fewer than past ambitions of 8 million.
Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Edwina Gibbs
(Reuters) – Nissan’s chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta helped engineer the troubled automaker’s latest turnaround plan. Now his allies are pressing the board to promote him to co-CEO to drive the new strategy, said four people with direct knowledge.
FILE PHOTO: Nissan Motor COO Ashwani Gupta speaks during a news conference at Nissan Motor headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, December 2, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Thus far, Nissan Motor Co’s 12-member board has no plan to change the roles of Chief Executive Makoto Uchida or his No. 2 Gupta, the sources told Reuters. But the behind-the-scenes campaign, involving at least half a dozen current and former executives, points to continued tensions at the top of the Japanese automaker, which has had four CEOs in four years.
The sources, all of whom have ties to Nissan’s leadership team, declined to be identified because they aren’t authorised to speak to reporters and because of the sensitivity of the topic.
Nissan responded in a statement to Reuters there are “no plans or consideration for any change in the management structure at Nissan, and no change to the close collaborative working relationship between Mr. Uchida and Mr. Gupta in their current roles.” Speculation to the contrary is baseless and misleading, the statement went on.
Lobbying to promote Gupta, 49, has intensified, the sources said, since Nissan unveiled a four-year recovery plan on May 28 to slash costs and strengthen its global alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi. Indian-born Gupta, an industry veteran, was instrumental in drawing up the plan. His allies now want him to implement it.
According to the people with knowledge of the matter, Gupta’s supporters are proposing that he either share the CEO role with Uchida, or replace his boss, with Uchida becoming chairman. One of the sources, a Nissan executive, told Reuters: “We’re clear enough in telling the board what our expectations are. But we don’t want to push the issue too hard. We want this to happen in a natural way.”
The uncertainty threatens to increase instability at Nissan that stretches back to late 2018, when long-time leader Carlos Ghosn was arrested and fired because of alleged financial misconduct, which he denies. Ghosn was Nissan’s CEO through April 2017, when he stepped aside, remaining as chairman. Since Ghosn, Nissan has had three CEOs. The discussion about Gupta’s role is also a distraction as Nissan wrestles with an array of problems, from its own financial woes to the industry-wide impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that is hurting sales.
The sources said Gupta’s allies have become emboldened in recent weeks because of growing doubts among rank-and-file employees about Uchida’s ability to lead Nissan back from its first annual loss in 11 years.
Two of the sources cited Uchida’s performance during a news conference on May 28 at which he presented the plan to cut Nissan’s production capacity and model range, and put new emphasis on sharing costs and investment with Nissan partners Renault and Mitsubishi Motors. Uchida emphasized that “the main focus of the plan is not restructuring.” Its purpose, he said, is “to build a financial foundation that will lead to sustained future growth. For that future growth, we plan to continue to invest in (product and technology) development.”
The sources said Uchida’s comments displayed a lack of urgency at a critical moment.
“The Nissan plan is a restructuring plan, no matter how you slice it,” said Tokyo-based SBI Securities analyst Koji Endo. “But Uchida fell short of clearly defining this as a restructuring plan. I think it would’ve served him better if Uchida had said honestly what this is, in order to instill the urgency of the plan and to stress people need to scramble.”
Gupta is already taking on much of the leadership of Nissan, said the four people with direct knowledge. Uchida, they said, is less engaged. Another source, a mid-ranking global product distribution strategy manager, said Gupta has hosted all recent meetings attended by this manager and his colleagues at head office in Yokohama to discuss recovery in key markets like China and the United States.
“He’s doing all the heavy lifting in formulating the plan, and we are not getting any guidance from Uchida,” the manager said.
Nissan said in its statement to Reuters that the management is “focused and united on the delivery of the transformation program, led by chief executive officer Makoto Uchida. Ashwani Gupta, as chief operating officer, is working intensively in partnership with Mr. Uchida on executing the program.”
Nissan’s recovery plan draws on ideas previously employed by Gupta to reinvigorate the commercial vehicle businesses of Renault and Nissan. After joining Renault in India in 2006, Gupta became vice president in charge of Renault’s global commercial vehicle business, a job he held until April 2019, when he was named COO of Mitsubishi.
In drawing up Nissan’s latest turnaround strategy, Gupta worked closely with Renault’s chairman, Jean-Dominique Senard. As a consequence, Gupta and Senard, who sits on the Nissan board, have developed a close relationship, the sources said.
According to two of the sources, this might persuade Senard to support making Gupta co-CEO. If Gupta were to be promoted, the sources said, it would be positive for the Nissan-Renault alliance because Uchida and Senard have yet to develop a solid relationship.
A spokesperson for Renault said the company wouldn’t comment on speculation, adding that the relationship between the current leaders of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi is “excellent.”
“Renault and Mr Senard extend their full support to Nissan’s current management as they implement their transformation plan under Mr. Uchida’s leadership,” the spokesperson said.
Mitsubishi declined to comment for this article.
Reporting by Norihiko Shirouzu in Beijing; editing by Janet McBride