Japan Nissan to take over Thai Nissan unit-report

BANGKOK, March 31 (Reuters) - Nissan Motor Co will sign a deal in Bangkok next week to take over production and distribution of Nissan automobiles in Thailand from Siam Motors group, a newspaper said on Wednesday.

The Japan's third largest auto maker would increase its stakes in Siam Nissan Motor and Nissan Sales, the distribution company, and Siam Nissan Automobile, the production company, to 75 percent, the Nation newspaper reported.

"Siam Motors had wanted to keep a 25.1-percent stake in the companies," a source familiar with the deal was quoted as saying. Anything less would make it impossible for the company to block a capital-increase plan, the Nation said.

Nissan was likely to implement a capital increase after the takeover as it expands the businesses in Thailand, further diluting the stakes held by Siam Motors, the Nation said.

The Phornprapha family, which controls Siam Motors, had agreed to relinquish management control in Siam Nissan to Nissan, it said.

A Nissan spokesman in Tokyo declined to comment on the report, which said Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn would sign the deal on Monday.

Siam Nissan is Thailand's fourth largest auto company in terms of domestic sales, after Toyota , Isuzu , and Honda , with sales of 43,557 units last year, when its market share was 8.2 percent, the Nation said. (Additional reporting by Chang-Ran Kim in Tokyo)