The automaker aimed to have a final deal approved by their boards by the middle of the year, but that target has slipped to the end of 2023, two people with knowledge of the talks said.
Senior executives at the French automaker, such as Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard and CEO Luca de Meo, had viewed Gupta as slowing down or blocking the completion of the deal, a person with knowledge of Renault’s position said.
A Renault spokesperson declined to comment and said both executives declined to comment.
Nada said in his April letter that he believed Nissan CEO Uchida had overstepped his authority by making concessions and commitments in what he called backroom deals with de Meo. Nada cited two cases, both involving provisions relating to Nissan’s intellectual property.
A Renault spokesperson declined to comment and said de Meo also declined to comment.
Anything Uchida discussed with his Renault counterpart would be subject to review by Nissan’s board with input from executive committees, one person with knowledge of the deliberations said.
In his letter, Nada also criticized Uchida for pressing ahead with the decision to buy a stake in Ampere without establishing a strategic rationale and called for an independent financial adviser to review the deal.
Reuters was unable to determine if the directors had acted on Nada’s call for a review.
Nada’s letter marks the second time he has squared off against Nissan’s top boss over the Japanese automaker’s dealing with Renault.
Ghosn had been considering a full merger of the companies before his arrest in 2018. After fleeing to Lebanon to avoid trial in Japan, he has repeatedly described the case against him as a coup by Nissan executives, including Nada, who were alarmed by the prospect of a merger.
Nada, who had cooperated with prosecutors in exchange for avoiding prosecution in the Ghosn case, testified in the related prosecution of former Nissan director Greg Kelly that he believed a merger with Renault had to be stopped to protect Nissan’s interests.
Nada is a member of two executive committees established by Nissan in 2019 as part of a governance reform after the Ghosn scandal. He said in his letter that one of those committees had been trying to develop a rationale for Nissan’s agreed Ampere investment, but had been unable to provide anything credible.
Reuters was unable to confirm independently Nada’s characterization of the Ampere investment review.
Gupta’s sudden removal would serve as a warning to others perceived as being difficult or anti-Renault, Nada also wrote.