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Report: Ghosn was planning to merge Renault, Nissan

Nissan's board was reportedly strongly opposed to the plan.

Carlos Ghosn was reportedly planning to spearhead a formal merger between Renault and Nissan when the latter company uncovered evidence of wrongdoing that led to his surprise arrest in Tokyo.

Nissan board members expected the plan to move forward "within months," sources have told Financial Times. If successful, the merger would have effectively cemented Nissan's submissive status beneath the controlling power of Renault.

"The board [of Nissan] always said they would fight very hard against any reorganization that entrenched that second-tier status," one source told FT.

The report suggests tensions had been growing between Ghosn and Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa when Nissan kicked off an internal investigation into Ghosn's reporting of his income. He has been accused of reporting around half of his compensation and misusing company resources.

The timing will naturally be interpreted as evidence that Ghosn may have been a target for ouster before Nissan launched a dirt-digging investigation. Hiroto Sakawa has insisted the fiasco is not a coup, however.

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