PARIS: The French government said Tuesday that it had signed off on a state-backed loan of five billion euros ($5.6 billion) for carmaker Renault, where the coronavirus crisis has compounded months of management turbulence and prompted the company to lay off nearly 15,000 people worldwide.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire approved the loan after a meeting with executives, labour representatives and local officials concerned by a sweeping overhaul unveiled by Renault last week, the finance ministry said.

The government announced the loan last month, but said it was conditional on a commitment from Renault to maintain jobs and core operations in France.

The company has said four production sites in France could be closed or restructured, including the Maubeuge site in northern France, from where production of electric Kangoo utility vans is being transferred to nearby Douai.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2020