Stellantis chairman John Elkann reportedly had denied the carmaker was planning to merge with Renault, responding to press speculation.

According to Reuters, Elkann said his company was focused on the execution of its long-term business plan.

“There is no plan under consideration regarding merger operations with other manufacturers,” he said.

After abandoning the Russian market, at the time its second largest after France, and reducing the scope of its global cooperation with Nissan, Renault had been seen as a potential M&A target and speculation intensified after an electric vehicle market slowdown forced it last week to cancel IPO plans for its EV and software unit Ampere, the report said.

Reuters reported Italian daily Il Messaggero had said on Sunday the French government, Renault’s largest shareholder and also a Stellantis stakeholder, was studying plans for a merger between the two groups.

A Renault spokeswoman told Reuters the group did not comment on rumours while France’s finance ministry had declined to comment earlier.

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