Major Restructuring Planned For Nissan Diesel

Japan's Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. said Dec. 20 that it was holding talks with French partner Renault SA and creditor banks on a drastic restructuring for its troubled truck unit. The parent company said talks were also focusing on a possible tie-up between Nissan Diesel and the French auto firm's truck unit, Renault Vehicules Industriels (Renault VI). The banks are being asked to extend "a four-year credit line of about 200 billion yen (US$ 2 billion)" to Nissan Diesel Motor Co. Ltd., a spokesman for Nissan Motor told Agence France-Presse. Nissan Diesel's leading creditors include Industrial Bank of Japan Ltd. and Fuji Bank Ltd. A further cash injection of 10 billion yen is planned "through a convertible bond issue and other means," a statement said. A Nissan Diesel spokesman told AFP earlier that talks were being held on establishing a comprehensive business alliance with Renault SA, which controls Nissan Motor through a 36.8% stake bought in March. Last week Nissan Diesel denied that it was being sized up for a buyout by German-U.S. automaker DaimlerChrysler. The planned shake-up at its truck unit comes after Nissan Motor announced a major restructuring plan in October under the guidance of its Renault-imported chief operating officer, Carlos Ghosn. Nissan plans to start selling shares held in 1,394 companies and to use the proceeds to repay debts under the revival plan, which also involves shedding 21,000 jobs and shutting five plants in Japan.

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