Renault has slammed what it describes as a 'purposefully orchestrated destabilisation campaign' after the Reuters news agency published a story claiming that it has seen documents showing that executives from both carmakers in the Renault-Nissan alliance looked at legal ways to pay chairman Carlos Ghosn undisclosed income through the partners' shared finances.
Renault's report said that executives, including Renault's general secretary Mouna Sepehri, "worked on a proposed 2010 plan to create an additional source of compensation for Ghosn through the alliance's Renault-Nissan BV (RNBV) Dutch holding, according to an internal email seen by Reuters".
In a strongly worded statement, Renault said that the article published by Reuters "contains information that is either erroneous or arranged in a deliberately biased manner, as well as personal data". It also said "Groupe Renault reserves its rights to introduce legal proceedings as may be necessary".
Renault said Reuters has divulged personal data relating to Ms. Mouna Sepehri, Executive Vice President, Office of the CEO of Groupe Renault and reiterated that its review process has concluded that the remunerations to Carlos Ghosn are "compliant and exempt from any fraud, in respect of all the current members of Groupe Renault Executive Committee, including Ms. Mouna Sepehri, for the 2017 and 2018 financial years".
It also said the review process "will continue with respect to previous financial years".
Renault also said it considers that the "publication of allegations against an executive of the group, a few minutes after the meeting of the Directors of Groupe Renault, is part of a purposefully orchestrated destabilisation campaign".
The Reuters report says that there were two efforts from both carmakers to look at legal ways to pay Ghosn undisclosed income through the partners' shared finances, according to "documents seen by Reuters".
It also says "the two efforts discussed in these documents were ultimately abandoned". However, Reuters says the documents show for the first time that "some discussions about compensating Ghosn out of the public eye were not confined to the Japanese carmaker, but also included Renault executives".
Carlos Ghosn remains in detention in Japan over allegations of financial misconduct and under reporting his income. He has denied wrongdoing.