| PARIS, June 1
PARIS, June 1 Three shareholder activist groups
have asked the French market regulator to investigate
Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn's potential
conflicts of interest and possible breaches of governance by the
Proxinvest, which advises investors how to vote on corporate
governance issues, and U.S. activist CtW, put their case for a
Renault-Nissan review in a 24-page letter to the French AMF
The Renault-Nissan move comes at a sensitive time for Ghosn,
63, whose pay package was rejected by shareholders in 2016 and
faces a new vote at a June 15 annual general meeting.
The letter, also signed by RAIR, an association of French
pension fund trustees, details claims that Renault failed to
inform shareholders adequately about a transfer of
decision-making powers to its Renault-Nissan BV (RNBV) joint
venture, or to respect the procedure for their renewal in 2012
for 10 years.
It also points to potential conflicts of interest arising
from Ghosn's various roles. He is chairman and chief executive
of Renault as well as chairman of both Mitsubishi and Nissan,
where he also served as CEO until earlier this year.
"We believe an investigation is urgently needed to uphold
the rights of Renault shareholders," CtW Investment Group
Executive Director Dieter Waizenegger said.
CtW, a branch of the U.S. union federation Change to Win,
has been influential in pressing Tesla boss Elon Musk
to add independent directors.
The AMF said it had no immediate comment on the letter. A
Renault spokesman could not be reached for comment.
The letter said a creeping transfer of power to the
Dutch-listed RNBV venture has been taking place since 2002
without "adequate governance mechanisms or protections for
Renault shareholders" or any new regulatory scrutiny.
The conflict of interest allegations partly echo criticisms
levelled against Ghosn by the previous French government during
his 2015 power struggle with then finance minister Emmanuel
Macron - who was elected French president last month.
The French state, Renault's biggest shareholder with nearly
20 percent, had indicated before the elections it would probably
vote against Ghosn's pay from Renault and Nissan, which came to
a combined 15.6 million euros ($17.5 million) last year.
($1 = 0.8915 euros)
(Editing by David Clarke)