Renault to alert prosecutors over ex-CEO Ghosn's wedding costs

Mae Love
February 10, 2019

'We wanted it to feel as if we were inviting guests into our home - nothing too studied, ' Carole Ghosn told Town & Country magazine a few months later when it published photos of the wedding.

According to a report in the Figaro newspaper, the operators of the palace waived the usual fee of 50,000 euros ($57,000) for the reception at the 17th-century Grand Trianon complex.

In its own investigation, Renault identified an improper personal benefit tied to Ghosn's 2016 wedding at the Chateau de Versailles, which it plans to inform authorities about.

Renault said it had informed authorities that a €50,000 charitable donation made to the former French royal residence helped Mr Ghosn arrange a party at the venue near Paris in October 2016.

French carmaker Renault needs to show "total transparency" as it probes its business practices, including a sponsorship deal stuck with the Chateau de Versailles, finance minister Bruno Le Maire said on Thursday.

"Renault has chose to bring these findings to the attention of the judicial authorities", it said.

Ghosn led both Renault and Nissan and championed their alliance as it grew into the world's biggest-selling automaker.

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Officials in various French prosecutor's offices that could investigate the case said Thursday they had no information yet from Renault about the gift.

The 64-year-old Franco-Brazilian-Lebanese executive has angrily denied the misconduct charges against him, which saw Nissan and the group's other alliance partner Mitsubishi jettison him as chairman shortly after his arrest. "Contrary to the accusations made by the prosecutors, I never received any compensation from Nissan that was not disclosed, nor did I ever enter into any binding contract with Nissan to be paid a fixed amount that was not disclosed".

The French carmaker had previously said its internal investigation had found no evidence of wrongdoing by the former boss.

Renault paid Ghosn €7.4 million in salary in 2017.

Renault initially stood by Ghosn, but last month named a new CEO and chairman to replace him as his Japanese legal case drags on.

Renault holds a 43-percent stake in Nissan along with voting rights, while the latter owns only a 15-percent non-voting stake in the former.

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