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Putin offers Renault Nissan control of AvtoVAZ

MOSCOW, Nov 2 – Prime Minister Putin offered auto alliance Renault-Nissan the chance to buy a controlling stake in Russian carmaker AvtoVAZ, CEO Carlos Ghosn said on Tuesday, the RIA-Novosti news agency reported.

"The prime minister said he is not against increasing Renault-Nissan\’s stake in AvtoVAZ, and it could be increased up to 50 percent," Ghosn was quoted as saying after a meeting with Putin in comments translated into Russian.

The auto alliance currently controls 25 percent plus one share in the Russian carmaker. Stakes of the same size are held by Russian investment group Troika Dialog and the state corporation Russian Technologies.

Ghosn did not elaborate on the offer. However Troika Dialog managing director Sergei Skvortsov told journalists that Renault-Nissan could increase its stake up to 50 percent plus one share.

"Today one can say in complete certainty that the crisis in auto production in Russia is in the past," Ghosn said, adding that the stake increase is logical for Renault-Nissan.

Ghosn said last week in an interview with Russia Today television channel that Renault-Nissan was in talks with Troika Dialog regarding an eventual purchase of the investment bank\’s stake in Avtovaz.

Renault first acquired 25 percent plus one share in AvtoVAZ in February 2008, shortly before the maker of the famous Lada model was hit by the economic crisis and accrued a colossal debt.

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