Chairman's Arrest Tumbled Nissan Shares
Carlos Ghosn announced that he would step down as CEO of Nissan on the first day of April 2017. Ghosn was fired as chairman following his arrest accused for filing annual securities reports containing fake statements, under-reporting his salary, and using company assets for personal use which could mean up to 10 years in prison, or a fine of 10m yen, or both. Nissan’s board also voted to discharge senior executive Greg Kelly. The dismiss mission was to minimize the potential impact and confusion on daily basis cooperation among alliance partners. The allegations against Ghosn not only troubled for Nissan, but also Renault and Mitsubishi that are also tied by his might.
In the world’s biggest car alliance, the 64-year-old was up there running an alliance of three global carmakers - Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi - on two continents as both chief executive and chairman. He was dubbed as the keystone of the alliance by Satoru Takada, an analyst at Tokyo-based consultants TIW, as the charisma of Carlos Ghosn glues the alliance together. Ghosn was also honored with a hero status that was so big which made his life serialized in one of Japan’s famous cartoon comic books.
It is hard to overlook Ghosn’s success in building his reputation as a volte-face expertise by bringing Nissan back from the verge. However, today, he dumped it back. Renault has a 43% shareholding in Nissan, while Nissan's stake in Renault is only 15%. Nissan slumped as much as 5.5 percent in November 2016 after Ghosn was arrested for alleged financial misconduct. Correspondingly, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. tumbled the most in April 2016 losing more than 7 percent and shares of Renault SA also closed down 8.4 percent in Paris having fallen as much as 13 percent immediately after the arrest. Moreover, Nissan shares traded in Germany declined 7.8 percent. Tokyo markets had closed before the arrest was made public.
Nissan’s long-term credibility is at risk after Ghosn’s arrest and ratings companies will likely put the company on credit watch. The future of the Nissan-Mitsubishi-Renault partnership remains unclear in the aftermath of the allegations. According to the Financial Times, before the arrestment, Mr. Ghosn was seeking to strengthen the alliance and he had been planning a merger between Renault and Nissan. However, Renault declined to comment and the alliance was not immediately available for comment.