Renault to alert investigators over Ghosn's benefit from Versailles

Carlos Ghosn and his wife Carole at the Cannes Film Festival last year

The wedding party was an extravagant Marie Antoinette-themed splash at Versailles, and featured actors in 18th century clothing.

"We wanted it to feel as if we were inviting guests into our home - nothing too studied", Carole Ghosn told Town & Country magazine a few months later when it published photos of the wedding.

Renault is investigating a sponsorship deal with the Chateau de Versailles that included a €50 000 (R772 500) personal benefit to its scandal-hit former chairman Carlos Ghosn, the carmaker said on Thursday.

The vehicle maker said that additional checks were being carried out into the deal agreed by Mr Ghosn, who had been chairman of the Renault-Nissan alliance as well as chief executive and chairman of Renault.

Renault's internal probe, launched after Japanese authorities arrested Ghosn in November, has "identified that Mr Ghosn was accorded a personal benefit valued at €50,000 under the terms of a sponsorship contract with the Chateau de Versailles", the company said. "Groupe Renault has chose to bring these facts to the attention of the judicial authorities".

Officials in various French prosecutor's offices that could investigate the case said Thursday they had no information yet from Renault about the gift.

"The event space at Versailles was made available to him without charge and Mr Ghosn was unaware that the use of the space would be charged against Renault's allotted usage", he wrote in the e-mail.

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Ghosn was also the chairman of Nissan and of Mitsubishi, until he was sacked after his arrest in Tokyo.

"I am accused of under-reporting income I never received!" There is no question about this, ' he said.

Renault paid Ghosn €7.4 million in salary in 2017.

But facing the prospect of several more months behind bars before his trial opens, Ghosn last month relinquished his grip as CEO of Renault. Ghosn has said fellow executives opposed to forging closer ties between Nissan and Renault schemed against him.

Ghosn was the linchpin of the three-way alliance, earning industry plaudits for driving together a sometimes fractious threesome with headquarters 10,000 kilometres apart.

Renault holds a 43-percent stake in Nissan along with voting rights, while the latter owns only a 15-percent non-voting stake in the former.

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