by Fernando González Romero, Head of Treasury, CEPSA and Blanca Goñi Gonzalez, Head of Global Liquidity and Cash Management Madrid, HSBC
When a corporation makes an acquisition, one of the most urgent tasks for corporate treasury is obtaining visibility and control of the acquired company’s bank balances before incorporating those balances into existing corporate liquidity management structures. So when Spanish oil major CEPSA acquired Coastal Energy, Fernando González Romero, Head of Treasury at CEPSA, immediately called HSBC.
Integrating a new acquisition is demanding enough for any corporate treasurer, but when the acquired entity largely operates in a region of the world unfamiliar to the acquirer, the challenges are of an altogether higher order of magnitude. This was precisely the situation confronting Fernando González Romero, Head of Treasury of CEPSA, in March 2014. CEPSA was acquiring Coastal Energy, which had its principal assets in Asia, where CEPSA had little previous presence. The immediate need was to gain visibility and control of Coastal bank accounts held in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Canada, US, UK, Mauritius, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, while the longer-term need was to assimilate Coastal’s balances into CESPA’s liquidity management scheme.
While this task was exacting, it is rapidly becoming commonplace in the oil and gas industry. A recent straw poll of 223 oil and gas treasurers conducted by HSBC revealed that 65% regarded dealing with M&A activity as their top priority. The remedy is to partner with a global bank that has the physical network and niche expertise to handle the most complex global M&A integrations efficiently.