Renault has declared its intention to divest 5% of its shares in Nissan, marking the initial step in a strategy to recalibrate its challenging partnership with the Japanese automaker.

The sale is expected to yield up to €765 million (£657 million) for Renault, providing crucial support for the launch of its electric vehicles unit, Ampere. Despite this financial gain, the company will record a loss of €1.5 billion to account for the sale price, which falls below the previously reported value of the stake on its balance sheet, as outlined in a statement released on Tuesday.

Nissan is set to acquire the shares on Wednesday, signifying a move towards achieving equal 15% shareholdings for both car manufacturers. This adjustment reflects a shift towards a more flexible version of the two-decade alliance that had been facing increasing strains.

The Renault-Nissan alliance was initially established in 1999 under the leadership of Carlos Ghosn, a charismatic executive with ambitions to position the combined carmakers as the world’s leading automotive force. However, Ghosn’s aspirations were shattered in 2019 when he was arrested in Japan on allegations of underreporting his income from Nissan.

Carlos Ghosn vehemently denied the charges against him but eventually executed a daring escape from house arrest, making headlines as he fled in a musical equipment box aboard a private jet. This dramatic episode, coupled with the ensuing power struggle, had a profound impact on both Nissan and Renault, resulting in the departure of chief executives from both companies.

Currently, Renault is under the leadership of Luca de Meo, who assumed the role after joining from Volkswagen with the mandate to stabilize the strained relationship. In February, de Meo, along with Nissan’s CEO Makoto Uchida, outlined the framework for a new, more loosely structured alliance.

Following the share sale, Renault is anticipated to retain shares valued between €3 billion and €3.5 billion based on Monday’s market prices, according to UBS calculations. However, UBS does not foresee immediate additional share sales.

As part of the agreement, Nissan will invest in Ampere. Luca de Meo has separated Ampere from Renault’s other operations and aims to list it independently on the stock market next year. Some analysts, including UBS, have raised concerns about the decision to list the company separately and have projected a valuation considerably lower than the €10 billion envisioned by de Meo.

Ampere, under Renault’s banner, seeks to regain ground in the electric car market, where Renault and Nissan, once pioneers with models like the Zoe and Leaf, have fallen behind in terms of new launches.