Visitors walk near the logo of Nissan at a Nissan showroom in Tokyo Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018. The arrest of Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn could extinguish any remaining hopes for a merger with key shareholder Renault, which the Japanese company's CEO has publicly opposed. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

INTERNATIONAL –  Nissan Motor said Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa did not mention a need to review the automaker’s equity partnership with French partner Renault SA at a town hall meeting he held with staff on Monday morning.

Nissan made the comment after the Nikkei business daily quoted Saikawa as telling employees that Nissan’s “tie-up relationship with Renault was not on an equal basis”, noting that Renault owns 43 percent of Nissan, while the Japanese firm holds a non-voting 15 percent in Renault.

A Nissan spokesman said Saikawa had mentioned an excessive concentration of power in one person - Carlos Ghosn - who is the Chief Executive and chairman of Renault and was, until his ousting last Thursday, also chairman of Nissan.

That had discouraged the other board members of Renault and Nissan from communicating directly with each other, instead escalating decisions to Ghosn, the spokesman quoted Saikawa as telling staff.