DEALTALK-Doubts hang over any Nissan-Renault-Chrysler deal

viernes 24 de octubre de 2008 13:08 CEST

(For more Reuters' DEALTALKs, click on [DEALTALK/])

By Chang-Ran Kim, Asia autos correspondent

TOKYO Oct 24 (Reuters) - Two years ago, Nissan and Renault considered extending their partnership to General Motors (GM.N: Cotización), and investors hated the idea. With speculation now turning to a possible link-up with Chrysler, analysts are balking even more.

Chrysler, held 80 percent by Cerberus Capital Management LP [CBS.UL], is in the midst of discussing a deal to be acquired by GM as car makers struggle to cope with the worst industry downturn in more than a decade. [ID:nN20339177]

As a backstop, Cerberus is also talking to other automakers, including Renault SA (RENA.PA: Cotización), sources have said, while one newspaper has said Nissan Motor Co (7201.T: Cotización) has proposed to buy about 20 percent of Chrysler. [ID:nT348209]

But with Renault denying the talks, Nissan refusing to comment and conflicting reports making the rounds, analysts are not convinced of an imminent deal, and say it would be a bad idea anyway.

"Nissan and Chrysler already have joint product-based projects in the pipeline, and extending those wouldn't require an equity tie-up," UBS auto analyst Tatsuo Yoshida said.

"If Chrysler became part of the alliance, Nissan and Renault would have to dedicate a lot of human and other resources to fixing the company -- resources they don't have," Yoshida said.

Renault owns 44 percent of Nissan, while Nissan owns 15 percent of France's No.2 automaker.   Continuación...