Implementing treasury transformation amid company expansion
In 2018, Boonpiraks led GPSC in what is considered one of the largest acquisitions in the Thai power industry
26 Jun 2019 | Chito Santiago
CFO OF THE YEAR, THAILAND – WANIDA BOONPIRAKS
Wanida Boonpiraks’ journey at Global Power Synergy PCL (GPSC) started when she joined the company as CFO in October 2014 – more than a year after it was established in January 2013 through the amalgamation of PTT Utility Company and Independent Power (Thailand) Company. Set up to be the flagship power company of the PTT Group, GPSC operates and invests in the power business, both in Thailand and overseas.
One of Boonpiraks’ first major achievements was the successful public listing of GPSC on the Stock Exchange of Thailand in May 2015, amid a tight time frame. The company raised 10.113 billion baht (US$316.82 million) after selling 374.575 million shares, with the proceeds used to fund its overseas expansion.
As a publicly-listed company, Boonpiraks brought GPSC into the international capital markets for the first time in 2016 when it secured a 20-year non-recourse project finance loan from a Japanese bank for the company’s Japanese subsidiary. Following the inaugural international credit exposure, GPSC secured a domestic rating from Fitch (Thailand) of A+ and an international rating from Standard & Poor’s of BBB-. Both investment grade ratings were achieved on the back of GPSC’s strong business profile, robust earnings growth and stable cash flow.
Then in 2018, Boonpiraks led GPSC in what is considered one of the largest acquisitions in the Thai power industry when the company initially bought a 69.11% stake in Glow Energy from Engie Global Developments for about 93 billion baht, which was completed in March this year. GPSC, according to Boonpiraks, is now in the process of making a tender offer for the remaining 30.89% stake held by the public, which will bring the total acquisition cost to about 134.6 billion baht.
Besides having implemented these corporate finance projects, Boonpiraks also performs the corporate treasury function for GPSC. From a Thai-only operation, the company has grown significantly into an international entity with overseas subsidiaries.
Post-amalgamation, there were several ERP systems in use under the GPSC group that required interfaces and alignment through system redesign and structuring to support the streamlined processing and visibility of accounts of different projects.
Boonpiraks recognized the need for better visibility and control over these previously decentralized processes and functions. She then implemented a more active treasury management model, which included technology platforms to host GPSC’s new structure for shared services, bank account rationalization and cash pooling structure, and designed and implemented the organization’s treasury centre.
Early this year, GPSC deployed an innovative solution in financial management called virtual accounts for payment.
The virtual accounts for payment solution allows corporates to rationalize their accounts with banks and enhance cost optimization and operational efficiency. The solution replaces GPSC’s physical accounts with virtual accounts for both collections and payments.
Following the completion of the Glow Energy acquisition, GPSC plans to transform its financial management into a full shared service centre by implementing SAP HANA, a cloud-in-memory data platform.
Boonpiraks’ vision is to automate routine manual operations to harness the capability of existing staff to support analytical functions.