Treasury management specialists share their secrets for effective debt management.
Smartly, you’ll get into debt
“Whatever the conditions, a financing transaction must fit properly into the company’s financial structure and, more generally, into its strategy. A new debt must be consistent with its use, in terms of maturity, cash flow and security. We must be clear with ourselves and with our lenders (bankers or investors) about the use of the debt and its link with the evolution of the company’s activity”, says Christelle Peyrel, treasury and financing director of the Touax group, which this summer completed a EuroPP of 16.5 million euros.
On all sides, you will look at
Banks, bond markets, private placements, whether EuroPP, US PP, Schuldschein, etc., the treasurers are all advocating today the need to diversify their financing. “You shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket: if a strong banking partner decides to withdraw, then you risk losing everything. Diversifying its financing reduces its risk, but also allows it to compete and optimize its financial structure (in terms of fixed-floating rates, maturity, etc., says Hélène Brunou, treasury director of the Lacoste group. In addition, when you have an activity in so-called “exotic” countries, which can experience significant devaluations, you should also consider local financing. »
The accounting rules, you’ll check
“Accounting rules have evolved towards greater clarity than they did a few years ago. However, between traditional loans, bonds, leases, etc., financing remains a complex accounting subject that must be discussed upstream with specialists, at the risk of unpleasant surprises under both international standards (IFRS) and American standards (US Gaap),” says Franz Zurenger, treasurer of the Interparfums group.
Curious, you’ll show yourself
“We must be attentive to developments, for example the appearance of so-called “green” debts. It is not yet clear whether this is a fundamental trend or a gimmick, but today the treasurer must consider whether any sustainable development criteria should be taken into account in his financing contracts. Of course, this can mean more constraints, but if the company is already very advanced in terms of CSR, it can be a comparative advantage,” says Christelle Peyrel.
Attentive to the conditions, you will be
“While banks are still responding positively to attractive rates, they are now more cautious about conditions. Moreover, it is in the detail of the contract that the stability of the loan can be guaranteed throughout its term, for example by providing legal clauses allowing a change in the index – as we will soon see -, a change in accounting standards, a change in the company’s scope, etc. “says Franz Zurenger.