Renault shares PLUNGE as chief Carlos Ghosn 'faces arrest in Japan'


Carlos Ghosn, the chairman of Nissan and chief executive of Renault, faces arrest in Japan and will be sacked by the auto manufacturers for alleged financial violations. Ghosn gave up his role as chief executive officer of Nissan last year and has said that he may step down as CEO of Renault before his four-year term ends in 2022, fueling speculation the alliance could lose its architect and main leader for the past two decades.

"Numerous other significant acts of misconduct" including "personal use of company assets", were also found.

Investigators with the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office were looking at possible violations of the Financial Instruments and Exchange Law that relate to false entries on corporate financial statements.

Public broadcaster NHK and Kyodo News also reported that Ghosn, who doubles as chairman and chief executive of France's Renault (RENA.PA), was to be arrested. Nissan said in a release.

Another report by Nikkei Asia revealed on Monday that the company it had been conducting an internal investigation into misconduct involving Ghosn and another "representative director" Greg Kelly for several months. Ghosn remained in that post till a year ago.

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Ghosn is credited with helping engineer a remarkable turnaround at Nissan over the past two decades, resuscitating the Japanese automaker from near bankruptcy after he was sent in by Renault.

"Nissan deeply apologizes for causing great concern to our shareholders and stakeholders".

Brazilian-born, of Lebanese descent and a French citizen, Ghosn began his career at tyre manufacturer Michelin in France, before moving on to Renault.

At the time of arrest earlier today, 64 year old Carlos Ghosn was the Chairman and CEO of Renault, Chairman and CEO of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, Chairman of Nissan, and Chairman of Mitsubishi. "We will continue our work to identify our governance and compliance issues, and to take appropriate measures". Spokesmen for Renault and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Motors (7211.T) alliance did not immediately return calls and messages seeking comment.