Nissan denies reported plans to split with Renault

Nissan denies reported plans to split with Renault
The 20-year partnership between Nissan and Renault has been badly shaken by the Carlos Ghosn scandal. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 14 January 2020

Nissan denies reported plans to split with Renault

Nissan denies reported plans to split with Renault
  • Report: Nissan senior executives speeding up work on secret plans for a potential parting of ways with France’s Renault
  • ‘Nissan is in no way considering dissolving the alliance’

TOKYO: Japanese auto giant Nissan is “in no way” planning to end its partnership with Renault, the Japanese automaker insisted Tuesday after a report suggested a divorce was possible in the wake of the Carlos Ghosn scandal.
Britain’s Financial Times, citing “several people with knowledge of the matter,” said Monday that said senior executives at the scandal-hit firm were speeding up work on secret plans for a potential parting of ways with France’s Renault.
But in a statement, Nissan firmly denied the claims. “Nissan is in no way considering dissolving the alliance,” the statement said.
“The alliance is the source of Nissan’s competitiveness,” the firm said, adding that it will look to continue delivering “win-win results for all member companies.”
The partnership, which also includes Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors, has been troubled since the shock arrest of its former chief Ghosn on charges of financial misconduct.
Ghosn, who last month jumped bail in Japan and fled to Lebanon, claims the charges against him were cooked up by disgruntled Nissan executives hoping to block his plans to more closely integrate the automaker with Renault.
In a news conference in Lebanon, he claimed the alliance was now on the rocks and directionless.
The alliance’s new chief, Jean-Dominique Senard, earlier hit back at the reports of a planned split, telling Belgian daily L’Echo the claims had “no connection to the current situation of the alliance.”
“The Renault-Nissan alliance is not dead! Soon we will show you why,” he said in an interview published Tuesday.
“I ask myself, where does this sort of information come from? I am not sure it comes from a place of goodwill,” Senard said.
Nissan fell nearly three percent Tuesday afternoon.
The 20-year partnership between Nissan and Renault, whose alliance is based on cross-shareholdings without a joint structure, has been badly shaken by the Ghosn scandal.
But Senard said the alliance was “nowhere near” the point of collapse and insisted its leaders were busy “recreating its original spirit” and planning future investments.
A source close to Nissan said that the leaks probably came from “a few disgruntled souls” inside the company who wanted to “vent their frustration,” adding that rebuilding trust between the two firms “will take time.”


KBW Ventures increases stake in US cellular seafood company

Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, KBW Ventures' founder and CEO, at the Milken Institute. (Supplied)
Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, KBW Ventures' founder and CEO, at the Milken Institute. (Supplied)
Updated 19 January 2021

KBW Ventures increases stake in US cellular seafood company

Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, KBW Ventures' founder and CEO, at the Milken Institute. (Supplied)
  • BlueNalu produces a variety of seafood products directly from fish cells
  • KBW Ventures invests in companies with transformative technologies and business models

DUBAI: KBW Ventures, the company founded by Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al-Saud, was among a group of backers who agreed to refinance $60 million of debt held by a Californian cellular agriculture seafood company, it was announced on Tuesday.

BlueNalu produces a variety of seafood products directly from fish cells. In addition to the latest debt financing, it previously raised $4.5 million in early 2018 and $20 million in 2020.

The San Diego company aims to use the funding to open a 40,000 square foot pilot production facility as part of its bid to launch a pilot program and eventually distribute its products across the US.

“The team at BlueNalu is driven to produce cell-based seafood products that are healthy for consumers, humane for animals, sustainable for our planet and provide increased food security to each nation in which we go to market,” said Lou Cooperhouse, BlueNalu president and CEO.

“This recent round of funding will allow us to continue advancing our mission and the next phase of our commercialization plans, while we continue to develop strategic partnerships that we expect will provide us with global market reach during the coming years.”

Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al-Saud, founder and CEO of KBW Ventures, added: “We have increased our stake in BlueNalu by investing for the second time. Our commitment to inject further capital is based on the company’s impressive forward roadmap, detailing a clear path to ramping up production and bringing its first product to market at this crucial period in the pandemic. KBW Ventures is pleased to play a role in the largest round ever for a cell-based seafood company, aligning ourselves with mission-driven businesses that seek to solve the world’s food security issues sustainably.”

Amir Feder, BlueNalu’s CFO, said the company is confident it can penetrate the lucrative $200 billion global seafood market and that it is in the process of signing up a series of international strategic partners.

Last month, KBW Ventures also increased its investment in a Singapore-based biotech company aiming to produce lab-grown dairy products. TurtleTree Labs raised $6.2 million as part of its latest round of funding. Besides KBW Ventures, other investors included Green Monday Ventures, Eat Beyond Global and Verso Capital.

Founded in 2019, TurtleTree Labs, which has offices in San Francisco and Singapore, will use the funds to accelerate research and production of functional, bioactive proteins and complex sugars found in human milk.

The company hopes these will have potential benefits in gut and brain health, which can be applied to both infant and senior nutrition and offer a viable alternative to animal-based dairy products.

KBW Ventures invests in companies with transformative technologies and business models. Its other investments include the Colorado-based pet food firm Bond Pet Foods and California’s Beyond Meat.