French finance minister says no need to rush Renault-Fiat merger talks

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said there was no need to rush regarding the $35 billion US merger talks between carmakers Renault and Fiat Chrysler, while reiterating that he nevertheless wanted the deal to go ahead.

“We should take our time to make sure that things are done well,” Le Maire told BFM TV on Wednesday, regarding the merger talks.

“We want to do this merger,” he added, also stating that the government wanted guarantees over the new entity’s jobs, having a headquarter in Paris and corporate governance.

Sources had earlier told Reuters that Fiat Chrysler had resolved key differences with France over its proposed merger with Renault, as talks on the tie-up plan progressed toward a possible agreement on Wednesday.

A compromise over French influence could clear the way for Renault’s board to approve a framework deal and begin the long process of a full merger.

FCA, Renault and its 15 per cent shareholder, the French state, have been in talks over the Italian-American manufacturer’s bid to create the world’s third-biggest carmaker.

France has broadly welcomed the deal, on the condition it guarantees Renault’s domestic blue-collar jobs and plants, while also preserving Renault’s existing alliance with Japanese partner Nissan.

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