Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation announced today results from their ongoing joint investigation into misconduct carried out by Carlos Ghosn, former chairman of the two companies.
According to the companies, Ghosn received improper payments from Nissan-Mitsubishi B.V. (NMBV), a joint venture company established by Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors.
NMBV was established in June 2017 as an equally-owned Netherlands-based unconsolidated joint venture with the mission of exploring and promoting synergies within the Nissan-Mitsubishi Motors partnership. Ghosn was a director of the company.
NMBV's investigation confirmed that Ghosn entered into a personal employment contract with NMBV and that under that contract he received a total of 7,822,206.12 euros (including tax) in compensation and other payments of NMBV funds. Despite the clear requirement that any decisions regarding director compensation and employment contracts specifying compensation must be approved by NMBV's board of directors, Ghosn entered into the contract without any discussion with the other board members, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa and Mitsubishi Motors CEO Osamu Masuko, to improperly receive the payments.
In addition, the investigation has also confirmed that soon after the announcement in 2016 that Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors would forge a strategic alliance, Ghosn, former representative director Greg Kelly and others began to explore the possibility of paying undisclosed compensation to Ghosn through an equally-owned Netherlands-based unconsolidated joint venture between the companies.
Saikawa and Masuko did not receive any compensation or other payments from NMBV.
Nissan says it will consider measures to recover from Ghosn the full sum.
Meanwhile, Carlos Ghosn remains behind bars in Tokyo on fraud charges.
Besides the "improper payments" accusations by Nissan, the former auto industry titan who saved Nissan from bankruptcy is is accused of under-reporting millions of dollars in revenue as head of the Japanese firm.
On Thursday, a Tokyo court quashed Ghosn's appeal for bail on Thursday, keeping him jailed on three charges of financial misconduct.
Days of being taken into custody, Ghosn was fired as chairman of Nissan and Mitsubishi. However, Renault, the third member of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, kept him on as chief executive while waiting to see how the case would unfold.
In a statement Thursday, Renault said its governing bodies were now "actively working to find the best solution for the future governance of the group".
The French government, which owns 15 percent of the former state-owned automaker and nearly 22 percent of its voting rights, has called for a board meeting to pick Ghosn's successor.