PARIS (Reuters) – Carlos Ghosn is no longer fit to lead Renault <RENA.PA> following his arrest in Japan, said the finance minister of France, which holds a key shareholding in Renault.
“Carlos Ghosn is no longer in a position where he is capable of leading Renault,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told France Info radio.
He added that he wanted Renault to set up an interim management structure in light of Ghosn’s arrest.
Nissan said on Monday that an internal investigation had revealed that Ghosn engaged in wrongdoing including personal use of company money and under-reporting for years how much he was earning. He was arrested and would be fired from Nissan’s board this week, added Nissan.
The French state owns 15 percent of Renault, which in turn holds a 43.4 percent stake in Nissan.
Le Maire said he would contact his Japanese counterpart over the matter, and reiterated that France’s priority was to ensure the stability of the Renault company.
Le Maire added that Renault’s partnership with Nissan was in the interests of both France and Japan and of both companies.
“Renault has been weakened, which make it all the more necessary to act quickly,” said Le Maire.
Renault shares were down 2.6 percent in early session trading, with the stock having slumped 8.4 percent on Monday.
Le Maire also said he had asked French tax authorities to look into Ghosn’s affairs and that they had found nothing of particular note.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Leigh Thomas)