Syndicated Loan

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What is a 'Syndicated Loan'

A syndicated loan is a loan offered by a group of lenders (called a syndicate) who work together to provide funds for a single borrower. The borrower could be a corporation, a large project, or a sovereignty (such as a government). The loan may involve fixed amounts, a credit line, or a combination of the two. Interest rates can be fixed for the term of the loan or floating based on a benchmark rate such as the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR).

Typically there is a lead bank or underwriter of the loan, known as the "arranger", "agent", or "lead lender". This lender may be putting up a proportionally bigger share of the loan, or perform duties like dispersing cash flows amongst the other syndicate members and administrative tasks.

Also known as a "syndicated bank facility".

BREAKING DOWN 'Syndicated Loan'

The main goal of syndicated lending is to spread the risk of a borrower default across multiple lenders (such as banks) or institutional investors like pensions funds and hedge funds. Because syndicated loans tend to be much larger than standard bank loans, the risk of even one borrower defaulting could cripple a single lender. Syndicated loans are also used in the leveraged buyout community to fund large corporate takeovers with primarily debt funding.

Syndicated loans can be made on a "best efforts" basis, which means that if enough investors can't be found, the amount the borrower receives will be lower than originally anticipated. These loans can also be split into dual tranches for banks (who fund standard revolvers or lines of credit) and institutional investors (who fund fixed-rate term loans).

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