Ousted Nissan Motor Co Chairman Carlos Ghosn has offered to wear an electronic ankle tag and hire guards to monitor him in an unusual bid to secure his release on bail after two months of detention in Japan for alleged financial crimes.
Ghosn is also willing to remain in Tokyo where he has leased an apartment and post stock he owns in Nissan as collateral, his spokeswoman said. A new bail hearing is set after an earlier request was denied due partly to concerns the French executive was a flight risk.
His release would allow Ghosn to meet more frequently with his lawyers and defend himself before the board of Renault where he remains chairman and CEO, amid calls for his removal and potential moves to restructure the Nissan tie-up.
As his arrest on Nov. 19 continued to cloud the outlook for Nissan's three-way alliance with France's Renault SA and Mitsubishi Motors Corp, Nissan said it was not the time to discuss revising the partners capital ties. Ghosn had pushed for a deeper tie-up between Nissan and Renault including possibly a full merger despite strong reservations at the Japanese firm.
"We are not at the stage for such discussions," Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa told reporters.
The Nikkei newspaper reported that a French government delegation had informed Tokyo that it would seek an integration of Renault and Nissan most likely under the umbrella of a single holding company.
"Since i have not heard this directly, i cannot comment," Saikawa told reporters.
Japanese public broadcaster NHK quoted French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire as telling journalist that an integration proposal was "not on the table now". A source familiar with Nissan's thinking said the reported French proposal did not "make sense" given the two companies' different cultures, Renault's lower productivity and Nissan's bigger contribution of key technology.
"It's a virtual merger, I don't think it makes sense," the source said.