Keen to support a recently opened affiliate in Saudi Arabia, Roche’s group treasury worked with BNP Paribas and the local regulator to successfully implement a first-of-its-kind cash pooling solution in the country.
Headquartered in Switzerland, Roche is the world’s largest biotechnology company and an in vitro diagnostics (IVDs) market leader. The company’s corporate treasury is fully centralised in Basel, supporting the enterprise’s global business activities.
Cash pooling is a crucial component of how the company finances its operations. Using cross-border cash pooling structures enables treasury to drive efficiencies at a group level. However, this approach came up against a challenge when Roche opened a sales affiliate in Saudi Arabia.
Franca Aeby, Senior Cash Manager, Roche, explains: “The Saudi affiliate was importing and selling goods locally. In group treasury, we quickly realised that we needed to have an efficient funding solution for this entity. We approached BNP Paribas early in the process, as well as external tax consultants and law firms, for insights as to whether cash pooling is possible in Saudi Arabia. It was soon apparent that this was a complex area. The initial answer from BNP Paribas was, ‘it’s certainly not a no, but it’s also not an immediate yes’.”