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France’s Renault has cut its stake in Nissan to 15 per cent from about 43 per cent by placing 28.4 per cent of the Japanese automaker in a French trust, the alliance partners said in a statement, putting them on equal footing of cross-ownership.

The new agreement for the restructured alliance between Renault, Nissan and junior partner Mitsubishi Motors came into effect on Wednesday, the automakers said in the statement.

“This next chapter of the alliance will build on the foundations of the long‐standing partnership and will maximize value creation for each alliance member,” the statement said.

Renault has no obligation to sell the Nissan shares that were transferred to the trust within a specific time period, according to the statement.

The French car maker can sell the entrusted shares flexibly in co-ordination with Nissan, and the Japanese automaker or a third party may get a right of first offer, the statement said.

Nissan and Renault finalized the terms of the deal in July after unveiling a sweeping overhaul of their partnership in London early this year, after months of intense negotiation amid the Japanese automaker’s concerns about protecting its intellectual property in future collaborations.

The companies had already said in January that Renault would put roughly 28 per cent of Nissan in a French trust to make them more equal partners.

Nissan has as part of the deal committed to invest up to €600-million ($641-million) in Renault’s electric vehicle unit, Ampere, consistent with it being a strategic investor and securing a board seat on the company.

Mitsubishi has separately committed to invest up to €200-million in the unit, which Renault hopes to list on the market through an initial public offering by next spring.

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