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Allen & Overy advises Nissan on historic renegotiation of its alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi

Allen & Overy is advising global Japanese automotive group Nissan Motor Co., Ltd (Nissan) on the intellectual property, commercial and supply aspects of the renegotiation of its 24-year alliance with Renault Group (Renault) and Mitsubishi Motors (Mitsubishi).

Following several months of negotiations, the parties announced on 6 February 2023 that they had signed a framework agreement to implement a range of transactions, including a re-balancing of the parties’ cross-shareholdings and the transfer and licensing of intellectual property rights.

Following further extensive negotiations, spanning London, Paris and Yokohama, on 26 July, the parties announced that they had entered into the definitive agreements contemplated by the framework agreement announced in February. The transactions are subject to certain conditions precedent and regulatory approvals.

The alliance, which was formed in 1999, is one of the largest and most successful automotive partnerships in the world, producing more than 10 million vehicles annually and operating in over 200 markets. The new agreements aim to enhance the operational efficiency, competitiveness and profitability of the alliance, while respecting the autonomy and identity of each partner.

The Allen & Overy team is led by partner Nigel Parker, together with partners Jim Ford and Mark Ridgway, as well as associates Magnus Yadi, Jordano Vasquez and Robert Dickens. Support was also provided by a wider team across the firm’s international network.

Nigel Parker commented: “It has been fantastic to advise Nissan on this landmark transaction, which is of great strategic importance. The treatment of valuable intellectual property assets, including extensive jointly owned intellectual property developed throughout the life of the alliance, was a critical part of the transaction. Advising on strategically important, innovative matters is what A&O is best at, and we look forward to continued collaboration with Nissan.”