Officially, the discussions continue. The evidence: two weeks ago, Frederic Saint-Geours, one of the principal leaders of PSA, was in Tokyo, where he met with officials of Mitsubishi Motors. In reality, the negotiations for months for a great marriage between the two automakers were struggling to advance. "It patina", indicates a close source from the folder. "It is really not easy", recognizes a familiar of the Peugeot. "To my knowledge, this is almost at a standstill", adds a third person.
Philippe Varin, the President of the Executive Board of PSA Peugeot CitroÃ«n, also paves the way for a possible failure. "Mitsubishi is a good candidate, but there may be other, even if the list is not huge," loose in an interview with the weekly "Invest" published Saturday. "If there is no agreement, Peugeot continue to live and grow."
PSA and Mitsubishi Motors have yet had time to tame. The two groups attend since 2005. French champion first bought the Japanese model of large 4 4. Then he did enter his plant in Russia (Kaluga) project, which will open in 2012, before launching cooperation between them in the electric car. And when Christian Streiff has thought about a possible grand alliance for PSA, the Mitsubishi folder is obviously found on top of the stack. His successor arrived in June 2009, Philippe Varin, decided to push the project. It would allow the Habs group from the ninth to the seventh in the world of the automotive industry.
Beginning of December, PSA has nevertheless been taken by surprise when the Japanese press referred to the project of reconciliation. Trapped by the leak, the Group had to formalize the talks, without providing any details. Since then, the technical discussions are continuing, and teams seem convinced of the interest of an alliance, because of complementarities between PSA and Mitsubishi: one is strong in the classical lines ber, the other in electric cars and the 4 x 4; one holds strong positions in Europe, the other in Asia.
Do not dilute the share family
It is in the financial field the negotiations fail. To the operational control of Mitsubishi Motors, PSA would well acquire a significant share of the capital of his partner, perhaps more than 50. But the group, deficit, is not ready to devote enormous amount of cash. Priority investment in industrial. About pay equity, it should not be that Mitsubishi arrived in the capital of PSA too dilutes the part of the Peugeot, the reference shareholder of family. It is the contrary endeavoured, in recent years, to increase its weight in the round table, to now 30.
Most importantly, the Peugeot do not want to pay Mitsubishi a crazy price. Despite its strengths, the group is at the bottom as the sixth Japanese constructor, and quite sick. But it remains very expensive to PSA. Since the beginning of 2009, the Peugeot action certainly doubled, while Mitsubishi Motors rose 6. Despite this re-balancing "overvalued Mitsubishi rest action, and we dumped", regrets on avenue of the great army, at the headquarters of PSA. On the stock exchange, with debts, Japanese is 58 times its gross operating surplus, a multiple limited to 16 for PSA. Similarly, the capitalization of Mitsubishi Motors is equivalent to 55 of its turnover. That Peugeot does not exceed 12 of sales.
"Mitsubishi is now high and we will do nothing to destroy value," warns Philippe Varin in "investing". "Light of valuations and constraints posed by the Peugeot, the equation seems almost unable to resolve submitted, commented on a banker. It is also an iron arm: Mitsubishi more in need of PSA that Japanese, Philippe Varin PSA can afford to drag things.
To investors, the President of the Executive Board will however not remain unclear indefinitely. "At the time of the presentation annual results, February 10, should well have something to say", admits a head of the group.