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By Nick Kostov
PARIS--Renault SA's (RNO.FR) chairman defended his attempt to merge the company with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA.MI), saying the tie-up would have forged a European car maker with the scale to compete with the growing power of their Chinese counterparts.
Addressing investors at his first annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday, Jean-Dominique Senard expressed regret that the Italian-American car maker withdrew its proposal after the French government declined to back it. Mr. Senard said it was French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire who first directed him to engage in talks with Fiat Chrysler.
"When the finance minister suggested to me several months ago that I enter into contact with the management of Fiat Chrysler, I did it," Mr. Senard said. "The benefits of this operation are very evident, and in my industrial life I've rarely seen a merger project that could bring so many positive synergies."
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 12, 2019 13:14 ET (17:14 GMT)
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