TOKYO —Diesel Motor Co. Ltd. reaches agreement on a debt-restructuring plan with four Japanese banks in a deal that should provide the truckmaker with a financially stable future.
According to the plan, the Japanese banks would provideDiesel with a four-year credit line of ¥200 billion (US$1.96 billion). The truckmaker additionally will receive a capital injection of some ¥10 billion (US$98.1 million), probably through the issuance of convertible bonds or new shares — to be purchased either by the banks or by shareholder Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., which owns 22.5% of the truckmaker.
SA, which bought 22.5% of Nissan Diesel when it acquired a 36.8% stake in Nissan Motor last March, reportedly was instrumental in negotiating the debt plan. The French automaker earlier had not been willing to include the truckmaking arm when it announced its restructuring for Nissan Motor last October.
The new agreement does not necessarily mean an imminent tie-up between Nissan Diesel andtruckmaking unit Renault VI. Renault officials say if the restructuring is a success and Nissan Diesel becomes profitable, there could be a partnership down the road. Such a partnership could result in cost savings of US$200 million in purchasing and product cooperation, reports say.
Renault is seeking to expand in Asia with or without Nissan Diesel, officials reportedly have said. Renault currently is in talks with South Korean automaker Samsung Motors Inc. (see story, p.2). It also is seeking opportunities in China.
Nissan Diesel is expected to announce additional restructuring in spring that most likely will result in the sale of non-core assets.